Earlier today, Baylor shocked many with the decision to fire head football coach Art Briles, who helped turn an underwhelming program into a national power. Shortly after the decision, Baylor released the full findings of the report by Pepper Hamilton, LLP, which did a full investigation into the football program and athletic department’s handling of various sexual assault accusations against members of the BU football program.
This paragraph, from page 10 of the report, sums up the issues well.
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. In certain instances, including reports of a sexual assault by multiple football players, athletics and football personnel affirmatively chose not to report sexual violence and dating violence to an appropriate administrator outside of athletics. In those instances, football coaches or staff met directly with a complainant and/or a parent of a complainant and did not report the misconduct. As a result, no action was taken to support complainants, fairly and impartially evaluate the conduct under Title IX, address identified cultural concerns within the football program, or protect campus safety once aware of a potential pattern of sexual violence by multiple football players.
Some other major takeaways from the report:
- Football staff members “improperly discredited complainants and denied them the right to a fair, impartial and informed investigation.”
- The football program helped accused players transfer to other programs after dismissing them of “unspecified team violations.”
- Baylor football coaches failed to establish a “culture of accountability for misconduct.”
- Baylor football had a “separate system of internal discipline,” not consistent with that of the university as a whole, which put other students at risk.
The full Pepper Hamilton report is available here.