Leaders at Baylor University in Waco, Texas are being held accountable for the mishandling of alleged sexual assaults on campus.
The University said on Thursday it will fire Art Briles, the head football coach, and demote its president, Ken Starr, The Atlantic reports.
Baylor announced a statement suspending Briles, the first step to ultimately firing him. And Starr, previously the independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton, will lose his status as the University’s president and serve instead as chancellor and law school professor. The university also sanctioned Ian McCaw, the athletic director, and placed him on probation.
Alleged sexual assault victims have come forward to say that the university dismissed their complaints.
The public first learned about the allegations at the 2015 trial of former Baylor football player Sam Ukwuachu, who was convicted of raping another student. According to The Atlantic, the university investigated Ukwuachu, but failed to punish him. That opened the door for other alleged victims to come forward.
The law firm Pepper Hamilton conducted an independent investigation covering the last three academic years. The report stated:
“…Baylor failed to consistently support complainants through the provision of interim measures, and that in some cases, the university failed to take action to identify and eliminate a potential hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, or address its effects for individual complainants or the broader campus community.”
The Atlantic reports that the investigation uncovered two University administrators who discouraged alleged sexual assault victims from “reporting [incidents] or participating in student-conduct processes.”
Investigators had harsh criticism for the University’s football program:
“Baylor failed to take appropriate action to respond to reports of sexual assault and dating violence reportedly committed by football players. The choices made by football staff and athletics leadership, in some instances, posed a risk to campus safety and the integrity of the University.”
The report described the tone and culture of a football program that didn’t play by the rules.
SOURCE: The Atlantic | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: Inform