Good morning, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) fans.
We’re going to step out of the ACC here today – and talk Liberty University’s athletic director hire. Specifically, Liberty hired Ian McCaw, the former athletic director at Baylor University.
Let’s be clear here; Liberty University has the money, the resources, the facilities, etc. to join an FBS conference. They want to join Conference USA, the Sun Belt, whoever will take them:
Jerry Falwell, President, Liberty University, is confident McCaw’s experience and past success make him an ideal candidate for the job.
“Ian’s success really speaks for itself,” Falwell said. “You look at what Baylor was able to do during his tenure, it fits perfectly with where we see our sports programs going. This is an exciting time for us.”
So, really, the character and conduct of Ian McCaw wasn’t really part of the equation here in the hire. Did Jerry Falwell not read the Pepper Hamilton report from Baylor? We summarized it here. Here’s a direct quote from the Pepper Hamilton report:
Pepper found that Baylor’s efforts to implement Title IX were slow, ad hoc, and hindered by a lack of institutional support and engagement by senior leadership. Based on a high-level audit of all reports of sexual harassment or violence for three academic years from 2012-2013 through 2014-2015, Pepper found that the University’s student conduct processes were wholly inadequate to consistently provide a prompt and equitable response under Title IX, that Baylor failed to consistently support complainants through the provision of interim measures, and that in some cases, the University failed to take action to identify and eliminate a potential hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, or address its effects for individual complainants or the broader campus community. Pepper also found examples of actions by University administrators that directly discouraged complainants from reporting or participating in student conduct processes, or that contributed to or accommodated a hostile environment. In one instance, those actions constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault. (emphasis mine) 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, to take action in response to reports of a sexual assault by multiple football players, and to take action in response to a report of dating violence. Pepper’s findings also reflect significant concerns about the tone and culture within Baylor’s football program as it relates to accountability for all forms of athlete misconduct. (Baylor University Board of Regents, Findings of Fact, Pages 1-2, Accessed on May 29, 2016 at http://www.baylor.edu/rtsv/doc.php/266596.pdf)
So, yes, McCaw’s Baylor Athletic Department completely failed when it came to protecting women from a culture of sexual violence. And yes, Baylor is under active Title IX Investigation from the U.S. Department of Education.
Listen, I’m about giving someone second chances in life. But U.S. Department of Education hasn’t even completed its Title IX investigation at Baylor. Does anyone think this is too soon the unconscionable lack of institutional control at Baylor University and the role that McCaw played in that? I do for sure.