Ken Starr resigns as Chancellor of Baylor

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Former Baylor president Ken Starr has resigned from his post of University Chancellor.
 
His resignation comes just days after he was removed from his position of University President following the findings of the Pepper Hamilton report.

The Baylor Board of Regents released the following statement on his resignation from the Chancellor position:

Baylor University Board of Regents today received and accepted the immediate resignation of Ken Starr as Chancellor of Baylor University. We thank Judge Starr for his years of service.
 
The comprehensive investigation by Pepper Hamilton and the subsequent Findings of Fact fully and openly outlined systemic failures across the University regarding Title IX policies, procedures and University personnel. As we move forward, we will continue to take the actions that progress the university and its leadership toward an environment of resolute accountability and responsibility as we relentlessly pursue the mission of Baylor University.
 
We recognize this is a tumultuous time for Baylor, most importantly for our current and former students and victims of sexual assault. We were horrified by what we learned from the investigation and again express our public acknowledgment and deepest apologies. The decisions made, and the actions we have taken, will ensure there is no room for deflection of responsibility or diminishing the experiences of the victims. We will continue to protect any details that may compromise the privacy of these individuals.

Last week, the Baylor Board of Regents terminated head football coach Art Briles, while stripping Starr of the president title. Athletic Director Ian McCaw was suspended and sanctioned before he resigned on Monday, the same day Baylor hired former Wake Forest head football coach Jim Grobe to lead the Bears on an interim basis. News of star being fired broke the day before the Pepper Hamilton report was released, but the university would not confirm the report.

The university issued the following press release on Thursday, May 26, revealing leadership changes, as well as the findings of the Pepper Hamilton report:
 
Board of Regents apologizes to Baylor Nation; Dr. David Garland named interim University President; Ken Starr transitions to role of Chancellor and remains professor at Baylor University Law School; Head Football Coach Art Briles suspended with intent to terminate; Athletic Director Ian McCaw sanctioned and placed on probation; University self-reports to NCAA; Task Force responsible for implementing recommendations formed and operative; Findings of Fact and Recommendations made available
 
In Fall 2015, Baylor University’s Board of Regents engaged outside counsel Pepper Hamilton, LLP (Pepper) to conduct an independent and external review of Baylor’s institutional response to Title IX and related compliance issues through the lens of specific cases.
 
Key findings of the investigation reflect a fundamental failure by Baylor to implement Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA).

The findings include:
 
– 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.
 
“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 the Baylor Board of Regents. “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’s review was detailed, thorough and rigorous. Pepper had unfettered access to Baylor faculty, staff and administration. Pepper also spoke with students who have been impacted by interpersonal violence. Pepper Hamilton examined more than a million pieces of information – from correspondence to interviews to reports. The experiences of students impacted by interpersonal violence played a significant role in the investigation into the University’s response. While those experiences informed the findings, the details of individual cases are protected by Federal law and will not be referenced in any document made public by the University.
 
“We, as the governing Board of this University, offer our apologies to the many who sought help from the University.  We are deeply sorry for the harm that survivors have endured,” said Ron Murff, chair-elect of the Baylor Board of Regents. “Baylor’s mission to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community remains our primary imperative. The Board has taken decisive action to ensure the University’s priorities are aligned with our unyielding commitment to that mission.”
 
OUTCOME OF INVESTIGATION
 
Following Pepper’s comprehensive briefing, the Board charted a course of action that it believes is in the best interest of students and the long-term wellbeing of the University.
 
“We were asked to provide a thorough and candid assessment. Baylor allowed us to follow the facts, without influence or interference, wherever they led, and Baylor’s Board of Regents openly received sobering findings of failure within football, the Athletics Department and the University as a whole,” said Gina Maisto Smith and Leslie M. Gomez, partners with Pepper Hamilton, LLP. “We believe the choice to share these findings of fact publicly and acknowledge past failures is an important step for the University as it implements the recommendations derived from these findings.”
 
PERSONNEL DECISIONS
 
The Pepper findings revealed a lack of strong institutional management and control on a number of levels. The Board’s actions reflect a focus on the points at which the most significant levels of accountability and obligation should have been exercised.
 
“We have made these decisions, because, above all, we must safeguard our students and our campus,” said Willis. “We must set a new course to ensure the leaders of the University place a premium on responding effectively and with sensitivity to those impacted by the tragedy of interpersonal violence.”
 
The following personnel changes are effective immediately.
 
– Ken Starr will no longer serve in the role of President of Baylor University effective May 31. David Garland, former dean and professor at Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, will serve as Interim President of Baylor University while the University initiates a search for its next President. Garland previously served as Baylor’s interim President from August 2008 to May 2010. Starr remains the Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law in Baylor’s Law School and has agreed in principle to serve as Chancellor on terms that are still being discussed.
 
– Effective immediately, Head Football Coach Art Briles has been suspended indefinitely with intent to terminate according to contractual procedures.
 
– Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and placed on probation. McCaw will work with University leadership and the Board of Regents to implement the recommendations as they relate to the restoration of a tone of accountability within the football program, to effective oversight and controls of the Athletics department, and to critically needed changes that will re-align the Athletics program with the University mission.
 
– Additional members of the Administration and Athletics program have also been dismissed. Neither these individuals nor the disciplinary actions will be identified publicly.
 
– Greg Jones, as Executive Vice President and Provost, serves as second in command and will continue to have responsibility for the academic enterprise and fulfillment of the University’s Christian mission.  
 
– The roles of members of several University departments will be clarified and staff will be engaged in continuing and robust training before the start of the Fall 2016 semester.
 
– The overall business operations of the University, including Athletics, will be executed primarily through Dr. Reagan Ramsower, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
 
– The Board of Regents has created the full-time position of Chief Compliance Officer that will report directly to the Office of the President.
 
PROCESS ACTIONS
 
In addition to personnel changes, it is imperative the University leverages the investigation’s findings to institute improvements to better strengthen its ability to prevent, investigate and respond to acts of interpersonal violence and care for those who are affected by these acts. The University has retained the services of Rick Evrard, of Bond, Schoenech & King, PLLC, and has made contact with the NCAA to initially discuss potential infractions and to offer full cooperation with any resulting investigation.
 
Pepper provided recommendations to address deficiencies and process failures as outlined in the Findings of Fact. Among the areas of focus where improvements have been recommended:
 
– Remedial and Restorative Remedies: Baylor will review all cases of interpersonal violence over the past three academic years, to offer remedies, identify any current need for investigation, or isolate any broad pattern or cultural implications. Consistent with Title IX, Baylor will contact victims and offer specific remedies to the individuals identified in Pepper’s review.
 
– Title IX: The work of the Title IX office, established in November 2014, provides prevention training, engages student advocates and supports those who experience interpersonal violence. Improvements call for clarifying roles and responsibilities within the office, better utilizing case management tools to coordinate care and support, and providing leadership to coordinate information across University functions. In addition, standardized protocols will be established to balance individual requests for anonymity with broader campus safety obligations. Other recommendations include committing sufficient infrastructure and resources to the Title IX office and support from senior leadership to ensure appropriate and informed administrative oversight.
 
– Athletics: A wide range of changes will be implemented in Baylor’s Athletics policies and procedures. The overall operations of the Athletics department will be integrated into the mainstream operations of the University. Significant attention will be given to ensuring policies are consistent across all students and student-athletes alike with consistent protocols that eliminate any appearance of preferential treatment. The University will create and maintain a culture of high moral standards among student-athletes and leadership to ensure Baylor Athletics places paramount importance on student welfare and abides by Title IX reporting obligations. The University will review policies and protocols regarding transfers and recruits as well as opportunities for Athletics personnel to integrate across non-athletics programs within the University.    
 
– Engagement & Education: The role of training, education and engagement of the entire Baylor
community is vital to the successful transformation of our campus culture. A renewed emphasis on our faith commitment will permeate the work we do in this area over the coming months and years. Annual training will be required for all students, faculty, employees and contractors, with additional trauma-informed training for implementers, investigators and adjudicators. Additional focus will be given to establishing expectations for student organizations and interest groups as well as greater community engagement within campus residence halls. Additionally, the University will evaluate the climate on campus and undertake a more concerted effort to openly discuss prevention of and response to interpersonal violence.
 
– Centralized Reporting and Resolution: A centralized hub of student conduct information will provide a level of “early warning” for those students who are at risk or who may place others at risk. The University will ensure the accountability of employees by making clear the violation of reporting obligations could be cause for discharge. Additionally, processes will be put in place to ensure all instances of interpersonal violence, regardless of where they originate, will be evaluated under the Title IX office.
 
– Public Safety: Baylor has placed a priority on improving its professional public safety office with the hiring of new leadership and additional experienced officers. Continued training, the establishment of community partnerships and stronger collaboration among area law enforcement will be a focus of improvement. Improvements will also focus on establishing clear protocols for supporting the needs of individuals who have experienced interpersonal violence and establishing partnerships with advocacy organizations. The University will also revisit its protocol for sharing information between Waco Police Department and Baylor University Police Department.
 
– Counseling and Advocacy: With more than $5 million allocated to improvements and staffing in the Baylor Counseling Center in the coming year, efforts are already underway to improve services, support, and access to this vital resource. Additional work will be done to enhance after-hours access and emergency crisis availability and coordination with Title IX staff. The University will establish dedicated victim-advocacy services for students who need help navigating recovery and continued pursuit of their education after an incident of assault.
 
“Undergirding our work to implement the recommendations of Pepper Hamilton is a firm commitment to care for and develop the whole person – body, mind and spirit,” said Kevin Jackson, Vice President for Student Life. “We will continue to provide opportunities that help each student grow in their faith and become the person God has designed them to be. We commit to illustrate God’s love and grace and to help them grow their own deep roots that hold them firmly in God’s will for their lives.”
 
EXECUTIVE-LEVEL TASK FORCE ON IMPLEMENTATION
 
An Executive-Level Task Force on Implementation, established by the Baylor Board of Regents, will act promptly to address Pepper’s recommendations in the areas outlined above, Remedial and Restorative Remedies, Title IX, Athletics, Engagement and Education, Centralized Reporting and Resolution, Public Safety, and Counseling and Advocacy, as well as other areas across the University.
 
The Task Force, which is led by Dr. Ramsower, includes implementation groups comprised of members of Baylor’s faculty, staff and administration who share responsibility for identified areas and the holistic well-being of students in our campus community.
 
Within the coming weeks, the Task Force will identify areas where improvements are already underway, areas for immediate implementation and areas for more thorough consideration. The Task Force and implementation groups will assess best practices across other universities, implement more complex recommendations by Pepper Hamilton and continue to move Baylor forward along a path of improvement.
 
Periodic announcements will chronicle the work of the Task Force and implementation groups as they make improvements.
 
FINDINGS OF FACT
 
The Findings of Fact, developed by the Board with guidance from Pepper, is available on the University website. Within the Findings of Fact, readers will find detailed assessments of system failures and comprehensive list of recommendations. These recommendations provide a roadmap for next steps and are based on industry best practices and Pepper’s extensive experience helping universities nationwide establish systems to safeguard students, faculty and staff from sexual violence and take steps to ensure robust response and procedures.
 
Over the course of the investigation, a special committee of the Board of Regents was periodically updated on Pepper’s work. Additionally, in early May, Pepper presented their findings of fact and recommendations to Board leadership in Philadelphia and was onsite to brief the full Board during its May meeting in Waco. While no written report has been prepared, the Findings of Fact reflect the thorough briefings provided by Pepper and fully communicates the need for immediate action to remedy past harms, to provide accountability for University administrators and to make significant changes that can no longer wait. 
 
“We believe these Findings of Fact are forthright and critical to rebuild trust in Baylor University,” said Murff. “The Board was adamant that Pepper Hamilton’s findings and recommendations be shared with the community with as much detail as possible.”
 
According to Joe Schad of ESPN, Starr has urged the Baylor board of regents to release the entire report once it’s received. He didn’t want paraphrased excerpts. 
 
After the news broke, Briles deleted his Twitter account.
 
Following the release of the Pepper Hamilton report, the lawyers for a woman who is suing the university issued a statement on the findings:
 
The recently filed Title IX civil lawsuit against the Baylor University Board, Briles and McCaw on behalf of Jasmin Hernandez, a former Baylor University student who was raped by Tevin Elliott, a Baylor football player, has served as fuel for the Baylor Board of Regents action today to demote University President Ken Starr and terminate head Football Coach Art Briles.  The lawsuit claims that Baylor failed to comply with Title IX requirements to investigate and support students who are victims of campus sexual assault.  The complaint was filed in March in the United States District Court, Western District of Texas, Waco Division.   The lawsuit alleges that Football Coach, Art Briles, was well aware of prior sexual assaults by Elliot and failed to take any action to protect other students from this predator.  
 
This week, as news of the Board of Regents actions to possibly terminate or demote President Starr came out, Jasmin has stepped forward to offer her comments to the news media about her case and what she endured as a sexual assault victim at Baylor.
 
“Jasmin Hernandez showed incredible courage by publicly stepping forward and filing this high profile complaint against the University,” said Irwin Zalkin, attorney for Hernandez.  “As one of several victims of sexual assault by Baylor football players, her lawsuit added to the growing pressure on the University to take action.  Ken Starr, of all people, should have taken action sooner to prevent sexual harassment and assault against female students, and Art Briles should have been terminated long ago.”
 
The civil complaint outlines the details of alleged sexual assault and rape suffered by the Plaintiff, Jasmin Hernandez, while she was a student at Baylor University.  Ms. Hernandez was a Baylor freshman at the time she was raped by Tevin Elliott, at an off campus location in 2012.   Elliott was eventually charged and convicted of the rape and is presently serving 20 years in prison.  Ms. Hernandez was one of six women who reported that they were either raped or assaulted — in incidents from October 2009 to April 2012 — by Elliott, who was convicted on two counts of sexual assault in January 2014 for the incident involving Ms. Hernandez.
The civil complaint details how the Plaintiff reported the rape and sexual assault to university authorities who refused to investigate, and never offered any support or assistance to Jasmin. She also reported the sexual assault to Baylor Campus Police.  She contacted the Baylor Student Health Center to seek counseling and was told there was no one who could help her.
 
Her efforts to seek support after her rape continued when her mother contact Baylor’s academic services group for assistance and was told there were no resources available to help her daughter.  Another call was made to academic services which only led to exit forms being given to Ms. Hernandez to sign with no offer of academic support.
 
Hernandez’s mother and father both sought to speak with Coach Briles directly, but those efforts were rebuffed.
She lost her academic scholarship and eventually dropped out of the University, moved home to attend a community college, giving up her dream to study nursing at a major university.
 
Federal law known as Title IX requires academic institutions who receive federal funds to protect students from gender discrimination including sexual harassment and sexual assault by fellow students.  These institutions are required to respond immediately and equitably once it receives actual knowledge of a report of sexual assault of a student. They must also act to protect the victim from further harassment and exposure to a hostile environment including providing the student with adequate accommodation so that she is not denied equal access to academic opportunities.  The complaint contends that Baylor failed to meet its responsibilities under Title IX and state common law negligence law that require universities to provide security, counseling services and academic help to those who report sexual assaults.
 
THE LAWSUIT
 
On Wednesday, March 30, The Zalkin Law Firm announced the filing of a federal Title IX civil lawsuit on against the Baylor University Board of Regents on behalf of Hernandez, who was sexually assaulted and raped by another student, East Texas native and former football player Tevin Elliott, while attending the university. 
 
The lawsuit claims that Baylor failed to comply with Title IX requirements in response to complaints by students who were victims of campus sexual assault, and in particular the complaint by Hernandez. 
 
The complaint also alleges that Baylor authorities were negligent in that they had notice that Elliott had sexually assaulted at least one other female student prior to his sexual assault of Hernandez. Knowing this, the university failed to take reasonable measures to prevent him from hurting other students. The complaint was filed in the United States District Court Western District of Texas.
 
The civil complaint outlines the details of sexual assault and rape suffered by Hernandez, while she was a student at Baylor University. Hernandez was a Baylor freshman on academic scholarship at the time she was raped by Elliott during a party at an off-campus location in April 2012. Hernandez was one of five women who reported to police they were either raped or assaulted — in incidents from October 2009 to April 2012 — by Elliott, who was convicted on two counts of sexual assault in January 2014 for the incident involving Hernandez.
 
The civil complaint details how Hernandez and her mother reported the rape and sexual assault to Baylor’s Counseling Center the very next day seeking help and counseling for Hernandez. None was offered. They then sought assistance from the Psychology Department of Baylor’s Student Health Center where they were advised that there was nothing available for Hernandez. 
 
Hernandez and her mother desperately sought academic accommodation from Baylor’s Academic Services Department due to her traumatized emotional state. Hernandez’s mother was told “if a plane falls on your daughter, there’s nothing we can do to help you.” 
 
Hernandez’s mother then called Coach Briles directly. She received a return call from a secretary that the matter was being looked into.
 
Hernandez’s father called Briles again after receiving no response. His call was never returned. Hernandez reported the rape to Waco Police.
 
The lawsuit alleges that Baylor and Head Football Coach, Art Briles, were aware of previous allegations of sexual assault by Elliott of at least one other female Baylor students prior to his assault of Hernandez. In direct violation of federal law known as Title IX, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in the form of sexual harassment or sexual assault, Baylor authorities were deliberately indifferent to prior sexual assaults and Hernandez’s complaints and allowed Elliott to remain on campus exposing the victim to being sexually assaulted and to further harassment after the assault by this known perpetrator. 
 
TITLE IX
 
Title IX requires universities to protect students from any sexual assault by other students or faculty that impacts their ability to obtain equal access to educational opportunities and benefits offered by the school. Universities that receive complaints of sexual violence are required to exercise due diligence in investigating and responding to those complaints to protect the victim and eliminate a gender-based hostile environment.
 
“This case is yet another example of the indifference of college campuses to the hostile and discriminatory environment they foster against female and some male students due to their tolerance of sexual harassment and sexual assault,” said Alex Zalkin, attorney for Hernandez. “Rather than following the law intended to protect victims like our client, Baylor failed to investigate these allegations, allowed Elliott to remain a threat to other female students, and did nothing to offer any counseling or academic support which ultimately forced her to drop out of Baylor.”
 
Two causes of action against the defendants are detailed in the civil complaint; violation of Title IX and common law negligence The complaint asks for unspecified monetary compensation for physical and emotional damages, past and future medical expenses for therapy and counseling, loss of educational opportunities, loss of potential earning capacity, and punitive damages.
 
AG RESPONSE
 
On Friday, May 20, the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Baylor University must release some of their sexual assault records, however they are allowed to withhold aspects involving student privacy issues.
 
According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, on Thursday the newspaper received an opinion from the AG’s office stating certain documents submitted to their office must be released to be in compliance with a new law that makes private colleges in Texas acquiesce with public information guidelines. However, the opinion did not say what information should be withheld.
 
The Tribune-Herald requested reports from Baylor on February 9 involving sexual assaults and improper sexual conduct over the last 20 years. After a lawyer who represents Baylor asked the paper to “limit the scope of their request.” The Tribune-Herald then requested the information from the past 15 years.
 
Instead of releasing the documents, according to the Waco-based paper, Baylor counsel instead contacted the AG’s office to make a judgment on the matter.
 
In 2015, Governor Greg Abbott singed SB 308 into law. This requires campus police at private universities to abide by Texas public information laws which all police departments must acquiesce with the releasing of law enforcement-related activities. The law was introduced by Senator John Whitmire, of Houston. 
 
A Whitmire staff member was critical of Baylor and AG Ken Paxton, a Baylor Law School alum, when they spoke to the Tribune-Herald saying they are “playing silly games with their interpretation of the Public Information Act.”
 
OTL REPORT
 
On Wednesday, May 18, ESPN revealed they obtained multiple police reports that go into detail about previously unknown sexual assaults and acts of domestic violence by Baylor football players.
 
According to the documents from police, some Baylor officials and coaches knew about the incidents involving their players and most athletes did not miss any playing time for disciplinary reasons.
 
CASE 1
 
In 2011, three Baylor football players were charged following an off-campus assault. In the files, obtained by ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Waco police asked a commander to pull the case concerning the Baylor football players from the computer so only people who had a reason to ask about the case could access it. OTL reports the documents were placed in a locked office. 
 
CASE 2
 
A sexual assault allegation against a former star football player at Baylor, Ahmad Dixon, was in the Waco Police Department’s “open-case status: for four years. This shields the record from public view, according to Texas law. Police said the woman was deemed “deceptive” because she had made other claims of sexual assault prior to this. Dixon was also arrested in 2013 after reportedly hitting a man he thought stole his TV.  Dixon told OTL he was involved in multiple fights while at Baylor. Dixon, who is now an NFL free agent, earned All-America honors during his time in Waco.
 
CASE 3
 
In April 2014, a woman told police Bears running back Devin Chafin had grabbed her and slammed her into a car in front of witnesses, according to OTL. She gave photos of bruising to police. She also said prior to this, Chafin had grabbed her by her throat and slammed her into a wall before throwing her to the ground and kicking her.
 
Chafin played in nine of 13 games for the Bears that season. Chafin was arrested for marijuana possession earlier this year and was suspended for spring practice. He was later reinstated.
 
CASE 4
 
In April 2012, a woman told police she attempted to break up with her boyfriend, cornerback Tyler Stephenson, reports ESPN. He lured her to his apartment before restraining her, refusing to let her leave and taking her phone. She was finally able to get away and tried to call 911 once she got out of the apartment. The woman said Stephenson then grabbed her by her hair and threw her against a wall. Police say witnesses confirmed the victim’s account of what happened. It is unclear whether Stephenson faced disciplinary actions.
 
Read more from the OTL report here.
 
LATEST BAYLOR CONTROVERSIES
 
On April 13, police arrested a former Baylor star football player on a sexual assault charge just days after they began their investigation. Shawn Oakman was served with a search warrant for his DNA and his cell phone then arrested and booked into the McLennan County Jail.
 
A female has accused Oakman, who played on the defensive line for the Bears this year and is a 2016 NFL draft hopeful, of sexually assaulting..
 
According to the police report, Oakman met a woman at a nightclub and he asked her if she wanted to go back to his duplex. The female told police Oakman then forced her into a bedroom, forcibly removed her clothes, forced her onto the bed then sexually assaulted her, reports the Tribune-Herald.
 
The Central Texas newspaper says police seized two comforters, a fitted sheet and a flat sheet from Oakman’s bedroom. They also report the female went to the hospital following the alleged assault and was examined by a sexual assault nurse.
 
Oakman was suspended for one game in September 2015 for “violating team rules.”
 
OAKMAN BEFORE WACO
 
Before coming to Waco, Oakman was booted from the Penn State football after an incident at an on-campus store. According to a police report obtained by Philly.com from the Penn State Police Department, Oakman went into the store to make a purchase. He presented his ID but the clerk noticed he’d hidden food and a drink and the clerk held his ID. Oakman then pushed the female employee against the wall and tried to get his ID back.
 
Oakman posted his $25,000 bail and was released from jail. 
 
 
SAM UKWUACHU
 
In December 2015, Baylor settled with another sexual assault victim after another former Baylor football player, Sam Ukwuachu, was convicted of raping her in October 2013. The victim in this case said she was mistreated by the school and was “forced” to transfer to another university, while Ukwuachu remained on full scholarship and was “expected” to play during the 2015 season. After being found guilty, Ukwuachu was sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years probation.
 
PREVIOUS RED FLAG
 
Before transferring to Baylor, Ukwuachu was named a freshman All-American when he was at Boise State University in 2012. That season, he had played in all 13 games for the Broncos, starting 12 of them. He sat out as a true freshman in 2011 and was redshirted.
 
In May 2013, Boise State announced that Ukwuachu was dismissed from the team for violating unspecified rules. No other details were made available.
 
According to records cited by the Waco paper, when Ukwuachu was at Boise State, he allegedly attacked his girlfriend while drinking and using drugs. The newspaper said records show that Ukwuachu broke a window and cut his arm, which led to a Boise police investigation. 
 
At the trial this week, that former girlfriend in Idaho told the jury that Ukwuachu punched her in the head several times and choked her, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported. Ukwuachu denied the allegations.
 
The following month after he left Boise State, Ukwuachu told the Waco paper that he was transferring to Baylor. He declined to discuss his dismissal from Boise State.
 
BAYLOR COACH EXPECTED UKWUACHU TO BE BACK
 
Ukwuachu would have had two years of eligibility remaining had he played for Baylor. However, he never played a down for the Bears despite remaining on the team’s roster.
 
In 2014, he was suspended from the team, but reasons weren’t given as to why, according to the Dallas Morning News. However, there were expectations from Baylor that Ukwuachu might take the field for the Bears for the 2015 season.
 
“Ukwuachu is a guy we’re expecting to be back,” Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett said in June, a year after the indictment, according to the Dallas paper. “We expect him to be eligible in July. That gives us probably five or six guys we can play at end.”
 
But all of that changed. Ukwuachu eventually was dismissed from the Baylor football team for violating unspecified rules. Ukwuachu graduated from Baylor in May and was taking graduate courses before the trial. He still had a year of eligibility to play football after graduation, according to NCAA rules.
 
JUDGE FOUND BAYLOR INVESTIGATION INSUFFICIENT
 
According to Texas Monthly, Assistant District Attorney Hilary LaBorde told 54th District Judge Matt Johnson that Baylor’s investigation consisted of interviewing Ukwuachu, his accuser and one friend of each. The article also said that LaBorde said that the school never saw the rape kit collected by the sexual assault nurse examiner. Texas Monthly reported that the judge sustained a motion from the prosecution that restricted the defense from referring to the Baylor investigation during trial because it was so insufficient.
 
The Waco Tribune reported that McCraw, the Baylor associate dean, testified that she did not review the nurse’s report or review Boise State disciplinary records before making her determination in the investigation.
 
Following Ukwuachu’s conviction, Baylor released a statement that “acts of sexual violence contradict every value Baylor University upholds as a caring Christian community.” The school outlined steps taken there, such as staffing a Title IX office with two full-time investigators and supporting sexual assault survivors.
 
Baylor followed up Friday by stating that, after a meeting that afternoon, President and Chancellor Ken Starr ordered “a comprehensive internal inquiry into the circumstances associated with this case and the conduct of the offices involved.” That review will be led by Jeremy Counseller, a law professor and former prosecutor.
 
“After analysis of his report, President Starr will determine what additional action may be necessary,” the Waco school said.
 
SECOND CHANCES
 
Briles claimed he was not aware of Ukwuachu’s past. However, Texas Monthly obtained court documents saying Boise State and Baylor had some communication regarding Ukwuachu. The documents also said Boise State officials expressed reticence about supporting Ukwuachu’s efforts to play again, the magazine said.
 
According to the Waco paper, after the news of Ukwuachu’s charges finally came to light more than a year later, Briles told reporters, “I like the way we’ve handled it as a university, an athletic department and a football program.”
 
Chris Petersen, now the head coach at the University of Washington, was Boise State’s head football coach when Ukwuachu was a member of the Broncos. In a statement, he said he in fact had reached out to Briles about Ukwuachu transferring.
 
“After Sam Ukwuachu was dismissed from the Boise State football program and expressed an interest in transferring to Baylor, I initiated a call with coach Art Briles,” Petersen said in the statement. “In that conversation, I thoroughly apprised Coach Briles of the circumstances surrounding Sam’s disciplinary record and dismissal.”
 
According to Sports Illustrated, former University of Florida head coach-turned-Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp could have had Ukwuachu, but decided against it after having been told of his violent past by Boise State officials.
 
COLLEGE OF COVER-UPS?
 
However, this isn’t the first time Baylor has been thrust into the limelight for athletic department scandals.
 
Prior to the 1999-2000 NCAA men’s basketball season, Dave Bliss was hired by Baylor to lead the Bears’ basketball squad. Bliss, who was known for his role in paying SMU basketball players, only made matters worse for himself when he made the move to Waco.
 
On July 26, 2003, the body of Baylor junior forward Patrick Dennehy, who transferred from the University of New Mexico where Bliss formerly coached, was found, decomposed, in a gravel pit near Waco. The death was ruled a homicide four days later.
 
Dennehy’s teammate Carlton Dotson was arrested for the murder and pleaded guilty to the crime in June 2005. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison. According to Mike Wise of the Washington Post, this was the first known case of a player killing a teammate in the history of U.S. intercollegiate athletics. 
 
Former Baylor President Robert Sloan gathered an investigative committee who found Bliss paid Dennehy and teammate Cory Herring’s tuition, but led the players to believe they had received scholarships, even though they had reached the limit on the funding. While meeting with investigators, Bliss painted Dennehy as a drug dealer. He also told his players and coaches to lie to investigators regarding the slain player’s tuition. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram released audio recordings taken by former assistant coach Abar Rouse of Bliss telling players to say Dennehy paid for college with money from selling drugs. Bliss was also found to have violated drug testing policies.
 
After finally admitting his wrong-doings, Bliss was forced to resign by the university on August 8, 2003. The 71-year-old scored his first coaching job since the disgusting scandal in May. Bliss is now the head coach at Southwestern Baptist University, an NAIA school in Bethany, Oklahoma.
 
BAYLOR AT THE BOX OFFICE
 
According to Mac Engel of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram, an Austin filmmaker is bringing the basketball nightmare to the big screen with a documentary.
 
“The Baylor football program is supplying enough material for a sequel to the disgusting nightmare the basketball team created more than 10 years ago,” Engel wrote in his column. “We now have Baylor’s Shame: Part II. There is no report of any punishment from Baylor, which is consistent in how it has dealt with these situations.”
 
TIMELINE
 
A comprehensive timeline was posted on Reddit of the most recent allegations among Baylor student-athletes.
 
The timeline begins in 2009 when Hernandez (the woman suing Baylor) testified that Elliott sexually assaulted her after she passed out drunk at her apartment in 2009. It ends with the most recent allegation against Oakman in April 2016. 
 

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