3 Unnamed Women File Title IX Lawsuit Against Baylor

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2016

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2015, file photo, Baylor helmets on shown the field after an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas. Baylor University will look to rebuild its reputation and perhaps its football program after an outside review found administrators mishandled allegations of sexual assault and the team operated under the perception it was above the rules. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
LM Otero/Associated Press

Three women who have remained unnamed filed a Title IX lawsuit against Baylor University on Wednesday, per Rissa Shaw of KCEN News.

According to Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com, one of the women alleged a football player sexually assaulted her in April 2014.  

Baylor has been the center of a sexual assault scandal, with an independent study by the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton finding that the university failed to properly investigate and handle a number of sexual assault cases.

Baylor announced Friday that it "launched a task force to implement Pepper Hamilton's recommendations regarding sexual assault protocol," according to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, which included "105 recommendations to improve Baylor's prevention and response to sexual violence." 

Many of those incidents involved Baylor football players, and the university announced in late May that it planned to fire head coach Art Briles. Baylor's chancellor, Kenneth Starr, resigned, as did athletic director Ian McCaw

But surprisingly, "several high-profile donors have publicly floated the idea that Briles could be brought back after a one-year suspension," as Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com reported. 

Adelson wrote that isn't a good look for the school:

Almost everything else related to the football program hasn't changed. The school retained Briles' staff and has not approved eight players requesting NLI releases. And now we're seeing quotes like this from Bob Simpson, co-owner of the Texas Rangers and big-money Baylor donor with his name on a major athletics building on campus, about Briles' possible return: "We don't know yet. We'd like to see that."

Significantly, we have not heard a categorical denial from anyone in power at Baylor. How could bringing back Briles even be a consideration? And for that matter, why is the bulk of his staff—including two family members—still working at Baylor?

However, Jeff Caplan reported for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Wednesday that the school would indeed fire Briles and negotiations on a settlement are underway.

Any perception that Baylor is operating in a "business as usual" manner would be frowned upon publicly and, as Feldman noted, "would only make things messier for Baylor, especially in the wake of lawsuits in the pipeline."

This latest lawsuit is an indication that this scandal isn't going away soon for Baylor, and more lawsuits could follow.  

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