Damning report has Baylor cleaning house

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, May 28th, 2016

Baylor.Bryles

Damning report reveals horrifying extent of Baylor sexual-assault
scandal that led to football coach’s ouster

By Emmett Knowlton

Baylor announced on Thursday that it had taken the first steps
to fire Art Briles, the head football coach, amid intensifying reports
that actions by the football program and university administrators had
helped cover up sexual-assault accusations against football players.
On Thursday, the university released the findings of an
independent investigation conducted by the law firm Pepper Hamilton,
which the school had hired in fall 2015 to investigate its handling of
accusations of sexual assault.
The findings, which can be read in full on Baylor’s website,
paint a damning picture of culture that failed to hold the football
team accountable, discouraged victims from filing complaints, and, on
numerous occasions, neglected to remove victims from potentially
dangerous situations with assailants.
“We were horrified by the extent of these acts of sexual
violence on our campus. This investigation revealed the University’s
mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive,
responsive and caring environment for students,” said Richard Willis,
chair of Baylor’s board of regents.
He added:
The depth to which these acts occurred shocked and outraged us.
Our students and their families deserve more, and we have committed
our full attention to improving our processes, establishing
accountability and ensuring appropriate actions are taken to support
former, current and future students.
Pepper Hamilton reported several key findings, which we’ve listed below:
– “The University’s student conduct processes were wholly inadequate
to consistently provide a prompt and equitable response under Title
IX; Baylor failed to consistently support complainants through the
provision of interim measures; and in some cases, the University
failed to take action to identify and eliminate a potential hostile
environment, prevent its recurrence or address its effects.”
– “Actions by University administrators directly discouraged some
complainants from reporting or participating in student conduct
processes and in one instance constituted retaliation against a
complainant for reporting sexual assault.”
– “In addition to broader University failings, Pepper found specific
failings within both the football program and Athletics department
leadership, including a failure to identify and respond to a pattern
of sexual violence by a football player and to a report of dating
violence.”
– “There are significant concerns about the tone and culture within
Baylor’s football program as it relates to accountability for all
forms of student athlete misconduct.”
– “Over the course of their review, Pepper investigated the
University’s response to reports of a sexual assault involving
multiple football players. The football program and Athletics
department leadership failed to take appropriate action in response to
these reports.”
During Briles’ time as the Baylor head coach, several members of
the football team were accused, convicted, and charged with
sexual-assault-related offenses. Two former Baylor players, Tevin
Elliot and Sam Ukwuachu, have been convicted of rape, while several
others have been accused.
ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported in April that the school
failed to report these cases until nearly two years after the
complaints were filed.
From Yahoo:
Schools are required by federal law to investigate reports of
sexual assault and an Outside the Lines report earlier this spring
said the school waited almost two years to look at a claim against two
former football players.
Baylor also announced several changes to its leadership
structure. Ken Starr, the university president, has been moved to a
new role as chancellor, while the school’s athletic director, Ian
McCaw, has been sanctioned and placed on probation.

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