Baylor Suspends DB Travon Blanchard After Protective Order Issued

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

Baylor defensive back Travon Blanchard (48) during the Cactus Bowl NCAA college football game against Boise State, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Baylor University suspended defensive back Travon Blanchard indefinitely after a judge issued a protective order against him following domestic abuse allegations.

"Immediately upon notification on Feb. 7, the appropriate campus student-conduct process was initiated and Blanchard was suspended indefinitely from all team related activities, pending the outcome of the investigation," Baylor director of athletic communications David Kaye said, per John Carroll and Mikel Lauber of KWTX.

Blanchard has been accused of multiple acts of abuse, dating back to at least last July. The protective order paints a picture of an “increasingly violent” relationship, which allegedly saw Blanchard push, grab and slam a woman he previously dated during four recorded incidents. 

On Wednesday, Blanchard’s attorney Michelle Tuegel released a statement regarding the accusation, per David Smoak of ESPN Central Texas:

We are investigating the allegations made against Travon Blanchard by his ex-girlfriend. It is important that people not rush to judgment in this situation. Travon is hopeful that this matter will be resolved and that he will have the opportunity to move forward as a student and as an athlete.

Police were involved on two different occasions, but Blanchard was not arrested. In July 2016, Blanchard allegedly tried to force the woman into her apartment after an argument that became physical but backed down when threatened with arrest by police. 

On Feb. 4, Blanchard allegedly broke the woman's finger and left her bleeding from the hand after attempting to grab her car keys. He had allegedly followed her from a restaurant following an incident with another man. A police officer was contacted but was unable to find Blanchard.

The two other incidents saw Blanchard allegedly slam the woman into walls at an apartment and slam her into a car. The affidavit also says he “damages the applicant’s property when she tries to break up with him, as well as [places] a joker card, otherwise known as the killer card, on her car." The order also noted there is a "threat of family violence in the future."

This is just the latest incident in a series of concerning events at Baylor which also called into question its handling of student-athlete conduct, specifically in regard to women. An investigation uncovered widespread cover-ups of sexual assaults and other crimes on campus. The result has been a totally revamped football program, with former coach Art Briles and multiple other athletic administrators being fired or resigning from the university.

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