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NCAA won’t punish Baylor for failing to report sexual assault allegations: NPR

Aug 12, 2021

Adrian Garcia / Getty Images The Baylor Bears take on the West Virginia Mountaineers at McLane Stadium on October 31, 2019 in Waco, Texas. In a new report, the NCAA says the culture of sexual violence and lack of accountability ran throughout the Baylor University campus, both inside and outside the Athletics. Adrian Garcia / Getty Images Although it concluded it had a “campus-wide culture of sexual violence,” the NCAA said it would not penalize Baylor University after officials failed to report the allegations of sexual assault against football players between 2010 and 2015. The move is the culmination of a five-year NCAA investigation into the 2016 sexual assault scandal at private Christian University in Waco, Texas. “Baylor admitted moral and ethical breaches in his handling of sexual and interpersonal violence on campus, but argued that these breaches, as egregious as they were, did not constitute violations of NCAA rules,” said the NCAA panel investigating Baylor in its decision. “Ultimately, and with enormous reluctance, this panel agrees.” The NCAA, however, cited Baylor for several violations of college sports rules and imposed a penalty on the college that includes four years of probation and a fine of $ 5,000. Baylor sexual assault scandal In the early 2010s, several Baylor University football players and other male students were charged with sexually assaulting women. Soccer players, including Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu, have been convicted and sentenced to jail. Another student who was not on the football team, former fraternity president Jacob Walter Anderson, pleaded guilty to unlawful restraint and was given deferred probation. When a trend emerged, Baylor hired law firm Pepper Hamilton to examine how the university responded to reports of sexual violence. The company report concluded that Baylor had failed to properly implement Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in education, and that some officials have discouraged complaints, even going so far as to retaliate against those who deposited them. The school fired Art Briles, then the head coach of the football team. Later, Baylor University president Ken Starr – known for leading the Whitewater investigation involving the Clinton family in the 1990s – also resigned over the sexual assault scandal. Why didn’t the NCAA punish the college for the scandal? In the decision released this week, the NCAA said the culture of sexual violence and lack of accountability runs throughout the Baylor University campus, both inside and out. athletics. The panel said that because football players did not receive preferential treatment when it came to sexual assault complaints, it could not penalize Baylor for failing to act. “Schools have taken many steps to address sexual violence on campus, but like the [Committee on Infractions] points out, the authority of the NCAA in this area is very limited today, ”NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “This clearly shows why the Association needs transformational change to create an alignment between authority and responsibility to address critical issues in college sport.” In a statement, Baylor University President Linda Livingstone and Vice President and Athletics Director Mack Rhoades said the school “has recognized its significant and moral failings related to sexual violence and interpersonal “during the investigation. They added that the university admitted to some violations of NCAA rules and would accept responsibility. “We must remember that the prospect of NCAA sanctions is paltry compared to the suffering of survivors of these horrific assaults,” the statement said. One of the violations detailed by the NCAA was that the university was running a predominantly female student host group, the Baylor Bruins, for football recruiting events. The school also failed to report a student-athlete for a subsequent academic violation. It was also found that a former assistant director of football operations broke NCAA rules when he did not participate in an interview with law enforcement staff.

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