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Unconscionable Environment for Sexual Assault Victims at Baylor University

Friday, October 28, 2016 18:35
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BaylorGood evening, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sports fans.

Another Friday afternoon, another Baylor news release on the unconscionable environment for women at Baylor University.  Women who were not protected, but instead retaliated against by the Baylor University administration.

According to a Wall Street Journal report,

The sexual-violence scandal at Baylor University that cost its celebrated football coach his job involved 17 women who reported sexual or domestic assaults involving 19 players, including four alleged gang rapes [emphasis mine], since 2011, according to Baylor regents.

Gang rapes?  It my heart sick for these sexual assault victims.

And it appears that former head coach, Art Briles, knew about an alleged incident – and did not alert the police.

In one of the alleged gang rapes, the victim, who also was an athlete, told her coach that she didn’t want to go the police. When notified of the allegation, Mr. Briles told the victim’s coach that he hoped she would go to the police, according to people familiar with the matter. One person close to the victim said she viewed Mr. Briles as supportive of her claim. However, Mr. Briles didn’t notify the school’s judicial-affairs office or the Title IX office, these people said.

Baylor regents said that the board reviewed evidence, including text messages and emails between the alleged victims and the players, that supported the sexual-assault accusations, but that the probe didn’t attempt to conclusively substantiate all of the allegations.

The Baylor Board of Regents knew they had to fire Art Briles:

On May 24, two days before the board said it planned to fire Mr. Briles, he addressed regents in a conference room in an office tower across the Brazos River from the $266 million football stadium that opened in 2014.

Baylor regents said that when Mr. Briles was asked what he would have done differently, he broke down and wept. Many board members began to cry as well.

“He couldn’t speak he was so upset, and all of us were,” Mr. Gray said. “Art said, ‘I delegated down, and I know I shouldn’t have. And I had a system where I was the last to know, and I should have been the first to know.’ ”

Mr. Cannon said Mr. Briles quoted Scripture and expressed his regrets over the painful situation Baylor was in, but didn’t admit to wrongdoing.

The board members said their decision to fire Mr. Briles wasn’t merely because of the school’s requirements under Title IX, the federal law that has increased the requirements on universities to police sexual violence on campus.

“As he heard information, what did he do with it? From a moral standpoint, what is the right thing to do?” said Ron Murff, a Dallas businessman who is chairman of the board of regents.

From a moral standpoint, however, Baylor (now under Title IX investigation from the U.S. Department of Education h/t @TalkinACCSports) continues to fail because many of its football coaches are still are still employed with the university.  And, there seem to be some alumni that value football more than anything else:

Drayton McLane, a billionaire businessman whose name is on the Baylor football stadium, and other large donors asked the board for a private briefing on why the regents took such drastic action. Mr. Murff, chairman of the regents, declined to give them details of the investigation.

“They were very cold,” Mr. McLane said in an interview, adding that the controversy won’t affect his giving to Baylor and that he “just wants to understand the decisions that were made.”

Mr. Murff said other wealthy alumni suggested they would withhold millions of dollars if Baylor didn’t bring Mr. Briles back. [My emphasis:  GTFO]

“It was all about football,” Mr. Murff said. “My response was that we felt like our fiduciary duty was to uphold the mission of the university. That was the primary objective. It was not just to win football games.”

And there you have it… it was all about being a football school… and never protecting any of sexual assault victims.

Baylor (who is a massive problem for the Big 12, the NCAA, and the College Football Playoff), will be disbursing expensive financial settlements to sexual assault victims for years (and deservedly so) – and it has no one to blame but itself for the unconscionable environment it provided to its female students.

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