Sports

Baylor did not violate rules for not reporting sexual assault allegations, NCAA says

Baylor NCAA Football
Posted at 4:39 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 16:39:20-04

The NCAA Committee on Infractions found that Baylor did not violate NCAA rules for not reporting allegations of sexual violence by football players and interpersonal violence committed on its campus.

The committee did find that impermissible benefits were provided to players and NCAA recruiting rules. It also found that a former director of football operations assistant "did not meet his obligation to cooperate and violated ethical conduct rules when he did not participate in the investigation."

The school was served with punishments, including four years of probation, recruiting restrictions, a vacation of records, and a show-cause order of five years limiting all athletically related duties for a former assistant director of football operations.

"Baylor admitted to moral and ethical failings in its handling of sexual and interpersonal violence on campus but argued those failings, however egregious, did not constitute violations of NCAA rules. Ultimately, and with tremendous reluctance, this panel agrees," the panel said in its decision in a news release. "To arrive at a different outcome would require the [committee] to ignore the rules the Association's membership has adopted — rules under which the [committee] is required to adjudicate. Such an outcome would be antithetical to the integrity of the infractions process."

The panel also found that the report said that three instances of alleged actual or threatened violence by football players went unreported by the football's staff did not constitute impermissible benefits because of a campus-wide culture of non-reporting.

"That culture was driven by the school's broader failure to prioritize Title IX implementation, creating an environment in which faculty and staff did not know and/or understand their obligations to report allegations of sexual or interpersonal violence," the panel said in the report. "Because the culture of non-reporting was not limited to cases involving student-athletes, the panel could not find that these instances resulted in impermissible benefits."

In the report, the panel didn't find that former head coach Art Briles "failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance or that Baylor lacked intuitional control, largely because those allegations were specifically tied to the underlying allegations that ultimately did not result in violations."

In 2016, Briles was fired, and then-University President Kenneth Starr was demoted over handling the university's sexual assault complaints against players.