Another ugly incident at Baylor has the school right back in the spotlight, after strength and conditioning coach Brandon Washington was fired following an arrest on charges of soliciting a prostitute.
“When we arrived at Baylor, we made a commitment to character and integrity in our program,” head coach Matt Rhule said in a school-released statement, per CBS. “Brandon’s actions are completely unacceptable. We will not tolerate conduct that is contradictory to these values.”
The move comes after a string of reports emerged detailing the toxic culture at Baylor.
Baylor fires Art Briles
Former head coach Art Briles was fired back in May, which opened up the can of worms of issues at Baylor.
Soon after the decision was announced, the school released a presser detailing the reasons the school took the steps it did.
Included, was a shocking few paragraphs that detailed the football coaches and staff took steps to disclose the sexual assault or dating violence allegations, thus not allowing the University to take the proper steps. Because the coaches did this, it reportedly “discredited” complaints and denied the accusers a right to “a fair, impartial and informed investigation.”
Here’s the entire section, via the report, per College Football Talk:
“Baylor failed to take appropriate action to respond to reports of sexual assault and dating violence reportedly committed by football players. The choices made by football staff and athletics leadership, in some instances, posed a risk to campus safety and the integrity of the University. In certain instances, including reports of a sexual assault by multiple football players, athletics and football personnel affirmatively chose not to report sexual violence and dating violence to an appropriate administrator outside of athletics. In those instances, football coaches or staff met directly with a complainant and/or a parent of a complainant and did not report the misconduct. As a result, no action was taken to support complainants, fairly and impartially evaluate the conduct under Title IX, address identified cultural concerns within the football program, or protect campus safety once aware of a potential pattern of sexual violence by multiple football players.
In addition, some football coaches and staff took improper steps in response to disclosures of sexual assault or dating violence that precluded the University from fulfilling its legal obligations. Football staff conducted their own untrained internal inquiries, outside of policy, which improperly discredited complainants and denied them the right to a fair, impartial and informed investigation, interim measures or processes promised under University policy. In some cases, internal steps gave the illusion of responsiveness to complainants but failed to provide a meaningful institutional response under Title IX. Further, because reports were not shared outside of athletics, the University missed critical opportunities to impose appropriate disciplinary action that would have removed offenders from campus and possibly precluded future acts of sexual violence against Baylor students. In some instances, the football program dismissed players for unspecified team violations and assisted them in transferring to other schools. As a result, some football coaches and staff abdicated responsibilities under Title IX and Clery; to student welfare; to the health and safety of complainants; and to Baylor’s institutional values.”
Baylor admits mistakes
From the Baylor press release:
Both parties acknowledge that there were serious shortcomings in the response to reports of sexual violence by some student-athletes, including deficiencies in University processes and the delegation of disciplinary responsibilities with the football program. Baylor is addressing these shortcomings and making ongoing improvements.
After cleaning house, former Baylor AD hired elsewhere
Liberty University hired former Baylor Athletic Director Ian McCaw for the same job, despite his being embroiled in the sexual assault scandal that rocked the Waco campus last spring.
And the school’s statement announcing McCaw’s hire suggests they couldn’t care less about his checkered past.
Baylor reportedly bent the rules for players
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, former Baylor president Ken Starr reinstated former player Tevin Elliott in 2011 after he was suspended for academic misconduct. Elliott is now serving a prison sentence after he was found guilty for raping several Baylor students in 2014.
Briles praised Starr’s decision to reinstate Elliott, but other administrators were reportedly not as enthusiastic about the decision.
From the Wall Street Journal:
“Starr’s ruling was made over the objections of other administrators. The disagreement is indicative of deeper tensions that simmered between him and other Baylor officials long before the sexual-assault scandal that roiled the country’s largest Baptist university and sent one of the nation’s top college-football programs into free fall.”
Briles and Starr both lost their jobs for how they handled a plethora of issues.
Recent lawsuit alleges even more horrifying crimes
The Dallas Morning News reported on a new lawsuit facing Baylor University that alleges many more crimes than previously known with regards to the Baylor football team.
The report alleges that 52 rapes involving as many 31 Baylor football players occurred between 2011 and 2014 while Art Briles was the team’s head coach.
The lawsuit describes a culture of sexual violence within Baylor’s athletics, in which the school implemented a “show ’em a good time” policy that “used sex to sell” the football program to recruits. A Dallas-area high school athlete, according to the suit, said former assistant coach Kendall Briles once asked him, “Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players.”
Investigation by lawyers identified at least 52 “acts of rape,” including five gang rapes, by 31 football players from 2011 to 2014. At least two of the gang rapes were committed by 10 or more players at one time, the suit states.
This specific lawsuit, filed by a Baylor graduate who was not identified by named, also details rape allegations facing former Baylor players Tre’Von Armstead and Shamycheal Chatman. Despite being connected to rape allegations in the past, Armstead and Chatman were never charged.
Briles was fired back in May after the allegations of sexual assaults and the covering up of those crimes broke to the public. The accusations against Briles including a culture that encouraged the crimes while he was the head coach of the football team.
Briles was eventually replaced in the interim by former Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe, and later permanently by former Temple head coach Matt Rhule.