Nearly 20 Baylor players have been accused of assault since 2011.
According to the Wall Street Journal, regents for the university say 17 women have accused 19 football players of “sexual or domestic assaults” over the last five years. The report also states that fired coach Art Briles met with Baylor regents in two days before his dismissal.
Briles was fired after the release of the Pepper Hamilton investigation commissioned by the university into its handling of sexual assault accusations. Among its numerous findings, the summary found, without citing many specifics, that Baylor football staffers hadn’t correctly dealt with accusations of sexual assault.
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.
Two former Baylor football players are currently serving prison time on sexual assault convictions while a third former player is currently indicted on sexual assault charges. Others have been accused of sexual assault.
According to regents interviewed by the WSJ, Briles knew about one of four accusations of gang rapes within the five-year timeframe and didn’t report the accusation to the Title IX office. A lawyer for Briles didn’t comment in the report, citing a lack of provided details. No additional specifics were given in the WSJ report regarding any of the accusations against the 19 Baylor players.
Briles said in a September ESPN interview that he would tell women sexually assaulted by former Baylor football players that he was “extremely sorry.” However, he didn’t explain what the apology would be for and also said that he’s lived his life in a “righteous manner.”
Additionally, ESPN said Briles “blamed policies, procedures and lack of training for how certain incidents were handled” while he said that the head coach is the last to know with “the way the chain usually works.”
The Journal report also cites a Baylor statistic that 10.4 percent of Title IX incidents from 2011-12 through 2014-15 involved football players. An FBS football team has a scholarship limit of 85 before accounting for walk-ons. Baylor’s 2015 enrollment was over 16,500.
Patty Crawford, the school’s Title IX coordinator, said she resigned after she became frustrated with the way the school had reacted to the aftermath of the Pepper Hamilton report. She said in an interview after her resignation that regents had contacted her demanding names of individuals being investigated. From KWTX earlier in October:
“A very small percentage of our cases have anything to do with athletics”, Crawford said in the meeting, of which KWTX obtained a recording.
“And I’ve made that very clear to our leadership. This is not an athletics issue in the sense of violence and all these things, this is a human issue.”
Briles was replaced by interim coach Jim Grobe, who is 6-0 in his first season. Shortly after the release of the Pepper Hamilton summary, athletic director Ian McCaw resigned and two football staffers were dismissed. President Ken Starr and Baylor mutually separated over the summer after a series of public gaffes when Starr discussed the school’s handling of sexual assault accusations.
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