Nearly two years after a sexual-assault scandal rocked Baylor University and it’s football program, the NCAA has finally completed its investigation and formally notified the Big 12 school of looming allegations.
According to a report by Mac Engel at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the school was cited for “a lack of institutional control,” which is one of the most serious charges the NCAA could impose against a program. Bears fans and college football aficionados are now on watch for the “death penalty,” a sanction that would result in the NCAA shutting down Baylor’s program outright.
Former football coach Art Briles — who was fired by the university in 2016 after law firm Pepper Hamilton completed an internal investigation — was also cited by the NCAA. The association alleges that Briles failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance while at the program’s helm. Although Briles no longer coaches in college, he could still receive an NCAA show-cause penalty for his actions which would affect any future employment in college sports.
For nearly ten years, the university has been entangled in a scandal surrounding campus sexual assaults, some of which were allegedly perpetrated by members of the football team. The administration’s purported lack of action and refusal to provide counseling and support to accusers and survivors has resulted in 10 distinct Title IX lawsuits levied against the school.
Former Baylor Title IX coordinator Patty Crawford — who handled sexual-misconduct prevention and response for the school over a two-year span — alleged that an all-female student group, the “Baylor Bruins,” was “on call for football players to make sure that they had a good time,” according to Phillip Ericksen at the Waco Tribune-Herald. In her deposition made public in a court filing Tuesday, Crawford claimed that multiple members of the group were forced to quit after becoming pregnant with football players’ children. Crawford also said that several powerful faculty members, administrators, and board members did not prioritize Title IX protections because they are “not biblical.”
This comes alongside the revelation of the former chair of Baylor’s Board of Regents Richard Willis’ degrading comments about female and black students. According to Sarah Brown at The Chronicle of Higher Education, Willis told a local businessman that Baylor had “such good [N-word] football players [because] we have the best blond-haired, blue-eyed p—y in the state of Texas.”
Baylor has 90 days from when it received the notice to reply to the NCAA. The NCAA will then respond within the following 60 days.