After a couple of weeks of outrage over yet another incident involving one of its football players, Baylor has finally pulled the trigger on actually doing something of substance.
In a press release Tuesday evening, Baylor announced that wide receiver Ishmael Zamora has been suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season. The suspension comes 12 days or so after a video surfaced that showed Zamora beating his dog with a belt and kicking the animal. The incident happened in June, and ultimately resulted in a citation for misdemeanor animal cruelty.
In addition to the suspension, the university also levied the following punishments on the wide receiver: “Zamora must perform 40 community service hours in a manner that will teach him kindness and respect toward animals, must undergo counseling and must relinquish the dog to an animal-friendly home.”
The player agreed to release the details of his punishment as it’s not university policy to divulge such information publicly, the school made sure to note in its release.
Last season, Zamora caught nine passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore has been expected to play a bigger role in the Bears’ passing game with the departure of All-American Corey Coleman, as evidenced by the fact that, just yesterday, Zamora was listed as a starting wide receiver on the depth chart released by the Bears.
The suspension will cost the receiver games against FCS Northwestern State, SMU and Rice. Zamora will be eligible to return for the Sept. 24 Big 12 opener against Oklahoma State.
Below are the statements released by the university in connection to this development.
“I am sorry that I took out my frustration on my dog and accept the punishment that comes with it. This incident will never, ever, happen again. I truly love my dog, however, I know that my actions showed differently and I know that I made a big mistake.
“I apologize to my family, teammates, Baylor University and our fans for my actions.
“Eventually, I hope that everyone can see who I really am and that I am not a terrible person. This incident does not and will not define me, and I know that I am the one who will have to prove that to others in the days ahead.”
INTERIM HEAD COACH Jim Grobe
“Our football program does not condone this behavior by anyone. We are deeply saddened by it and have worked together with the University to hold Ishmael accountable for his actions.
“We have received communications about this incident from many passionate individuals over the past 10 days, and I am aware of their concerns. Our goal is for this discipline to be educational and restorative, and I believe that we have taken corrective measures to help Ishmael learn from his actions and to better understand the behavior we demand of all students at the University.”
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR MACK RHODES
“Ishmael’s behavior toward his dog is disheartening, and is not condoned. We believe with proper counseling and training Ishmael can learn from this and I expect that of him. I’ve conveyed to him my expectation that his actions and his service will illustrate his commitment to change.”