Briles said he personally spoke to former Boise State coach Chris Petersen about Ukwuachu, who was convicted of an October 2013 sexual assault on Thursday. Briles said Petersen, who dismissed Ukwuachu for violating team rules, did not mention anything “beyond Sam being depressed” and “needing to come home.”
Petersen, now the head coach at Washington, refuted those comments in a statement released Friday afternoon.
“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 that conversation, I thoroughly apprised Coach Briles of the circumstances surrounding Sam’s disciplinary record and dismissal.”
That’s a far different version of things than what Briles offered Friday morning.
During Ukwuachu’s trial, his former girlfriend at Boise State testified that he physically abused her.
She said Ukwuachu hit her and kept her from leaving the apartment when she wanted to leave.— Tommy Witherspoon (@TSpoonFeed) August 20, 2015
She said he choked her and punched her in the head several times. Those assaults led to Ukwuach being sent to anger management.— Tommy Witherspoon (@TSpoonFeed) August 20, 2015
Under cross, she said she didn't call police or make a report. He was not arrested for hitting her, she said.— Tommy Witherspoon (@TSpoonFeed) August 20, 2015
Ukwuachu was a freshman All-American at Boise in 2012, but Petersen dismissed him in spring 2013. Ukwuachu then transferred to Baylor. According to Texas Monthly, the Bears reached out to Boise in attempt to help Ukwuachu gain immediate eligibility, but Boise declined.
Approximately five months after he left Boise State, Ukwuachu was accused of sexually assaulting a former Baylor soccer player in October 2013.
After the rape accusation emerged, Ukwuachu never played a down for the Bears. He was unable to play in 2013 due to transfer rules and was held out of action in 2014 for what the program called a “violation of team rules.” And even with the sexual assault charge filed and a trial approaching, Ukwuachu was allowed to participate in conditioning workouts with the team.
Despite the recent criticism, Briles has defended the program’s handling of the situation.
“I like the way we’ve handled it as a university, an athletic department, and a football program,” Briles told the Waco Tribune-Herald.
The school’s investigation cleared Ukwuachu of wrongdoing but was deemed to be completely lackluster by the judge who presided over the case. In fact, the judge prevented the defense from referencing Baylor’s investigation in the trial whatsoever.
Ukwuachu, 22, is facing up to 20 years in prison.
For more Baylor news, visit SicEmSports.com.
For more Washington news, visit TheDawgReport.com.
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