Baylor's Ken Starr is also stepping down as the school's chancellor.
Starr told ESPN that he was doing so as "a matter of conscience." He was the focus of an Outside the Lines episode Thursday afternoon where he announced his resignation as chancellor.
Baylor’s Ken Starr tells me he is resigning as chancellor as “a matter of conscience.” More with Starr in @SportsCenter exclusive.
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) June 1, 2016
Starr acted as independent counsel in the 1990s and investigated the actions of then-president Bill Clinton, including his relationship with former intern Monica Lewinsky. Given the details of what's gone on at Baylor, it's been almost impossible to contrast Starr's career events in this 20-year span.
"We need to put this horrible experience behind us," Starr said. "We need to be honest."
Starr added that he "didn't know what was happening" regarding allegations of Baylor's mishandling of sexual assault allegations, but he "willingly accepted responsibility."
"The captain goes down with the ship," he said.
Starr claimed that he hadn't seen the full Pepper Hamilton report about Baylor's response to sexual violence allegations. When asked if the school did enough to keep female students safe on campus, Starr made sure to say that he only knew of allegations of misconduct coming from off-campus events. Here's his answer in full:
"In terms of our campus, as far as I know, absolutely," Starr said. "The episodes of which I’m aware — and I’m behind a veil of ignorance in part, I’ve been partially briefed but not fully briefed — every episode of which I’m aware happened off campus, not on campus. But we accept responsibility for that. We don’t say well you’re not within the geographic confines. You’re not in one of our residence halls.
"I don’t believe — this is my belief — that there is any episode of on campus. And this is part of training. We need to train our young people. Be careful. And we are using a wonderful method called green dot of bystander intervention. We’ve been working on these for many many months but it’s been a work in progress just as it has been around the nation.
"You cannot turn as a fellow student at a party — and we’re an alcohol free campus — it’s not happening on campus to the best of my knowledge. They're off-campus parties, those are the venues where these bad things have happened."
Ken Starr said all sexual assaults he knew of were off campus. Baylor PD data list 10 reports of sex assault since 2010 in dorms/BU housing
— Paula Lavigne (@pinepaula) June 1, 2016
Starr served as both the school's president and chancellor before the sexual assault scandal that has enveloped the university. After an independent investigation into the athletic department, Starr was no longer the school's president but remained as chancellor. Football coach Art Briles was fired Thursday and USA Today revealed the positions of two football staffers Tuesday.
Starr said he'll remain at the university in a teaching capacity. Hopefully he'll encourage his law students to not repeat the Baylor administration's mistakes.
The Outside the Lines report also featured a former Baylor student who said she was raped by Tevin Elliott, who is serving a prison sentence for rape. The woman said she emailed Starr, Briles, McCaw and others saying she was raped and received a response six days later from someone in the university's Title IX office – and there has been no followup from Baylor outside of the "initial" email exchange.
Starr, who said he disagreed with a conclusion that Baylor created a perception the football team was above the rules, also called Briles a "father figure" to his players and that he was forgiving.
"Coach Briles - and I don’t have all the facts on it - Coach Briles was a players coach, but he also was a very powerful father figure," Starr said. "He, through the assistant coaches, to the best of my knowledge, said ‘here are the rules.’ And they were fairly quick, they’re forgiving I will admit it, and that’s the same way I am. But he has real gifts and he wants the best for these young men. He wants them to get an education. He’s a great encourager. That’s what that program is. But clearly there were things that were extremely disturbing and disquieting.”
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