Report: Baylor Football Players Investigated in Connection with Sexual Assault

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2018

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2015, file photo, Baylor helmets on shown the field after an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas. For more than a year, the federal civil lawsuits against Baylor have piled in and piled on, accusing the nation's largest Baptist school of mishandling, ignoring or stifling claims of sexual and physical abuse of students for years. After months of bad publicity, the firing of a popular football coach and demotion and departure of a school president, Baylor is starting to make those cases go away with settlements as evidence gathering is just heating up and well before any of them approach trial. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
LM Otero/Associated Press

Two members of the Baylor Bears football team are being investigated following an alleged sexual assault, Rissa Shaw of KWTX in Waco, Texas, reported Thursday.

According to Shaw, the alleged assault occurred on Nov. 11, 2017, at an off-campus apartment complex and involved members of Baylor's equestrian team. Shaw found an incident labeled as "Alcohol-Minors Consuming/Sexual Assault" in the university crime log system that was reported Nov. 14.

Shaw also reported Baylor's Title IX office is in possession of a video from the alleged assault and that the video may have been posted to social media.

The university hired law firm Pepper Hamilton in September 2015 to investigate its institutional handling of sexual assault allegations. The Baylor board of regents released a findings of fact in May 2016 in which it wrote of discovering "institutional failures at every level of Baylor's administration directly impacted the response to individual cases and the Baylor community as a whole."

The report singled out the football program:

"Pepper found specific failings within both the football program and Athletics Department leadership, including a failure to identify and respond to a pattern of sexual violence by a football player, to take action in response to reports of a sexual assault by multiple football players, and to take action in response to a report of dating violence."

Following the release of the findings of fact, Baylor fired head football coach Art Briles, and athletic director Ian McCaw resigned shortly thereafter. Kenneth Starr left the university in August 2016 after his demotion from president.

Baylor settled a lawsuit with a woman in September 2017 who alleged two Baylor football players sexually assaulted her in April 2013, which was the second such lawsuit it settled that year. 

The Texas Tribune's Emma Platoff wrote in December the university was still subject to five more ongoing investigations, including one by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights that was launched in October 2016.

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