WACO, Texas — Baylor acting head coach Jim Grobe says he wouldn’t know Shawn Oakman if he walked into the same room.
Grobe was asked Monday about the presence of Oakman at 16th-ranked Baylor’s last game. The school’s career sacks leader finished his playing eligibility after last season, and was indicted in July by a Texas grand jury on a charge of sexually assaulting a woman at his apartment earlier this year.
Oakman, the 6-foot-8, 287-pound defensive end who went undrafted in the NFL draft last spring, attended the Bears’ win at Rice on Friday night. He was then seen going in the tunnel toward the locker room with the team after the game, though a Baylor spokesman said late Monday that Oakman stayed in the hallway and never went into the locker room.
“I don’t know who Shawn Oakman is. So I wouldn’t be able to recognize him if he walked in the door right now,” Grobe said during his weekly news conference earlier Monday. “There were a lot of people around at the end of the game. There are always a lot of people around. But I had no issues. I didn’t know he was there, or know who he is.”
Grobe took over in late May after the swift removal of head coach Art Briles following the release of a report alleging that the private Baptist university mishandled complaints of sexual assault. The report came after an external investigation that focused on allegations surrounding the football team.
Briles, whose son is still Baylor’s offensive coordinator, was also spotted in the stands during the Rice game in Houston.
A McLennan County grand jury in July returned an indictment against Oakman, who had 17 1/2 sacks in three seasons with the Bears.
Oakman’s attorney, Michelle Tuegel, said then that the former player maintained his innocence in the case and reiterated what Oakman told investigating officers — that the sex was consensual. She said it was unfortunate that the case against Oakman was being “lumped in with other events that are unrelated.”