Baylor’s interim president, football coaches, fans, board of regents, and current players and students all have an opinion on who should be blamed for the school’s inability to report and address sexual assault. In surprising news, the NCAA does not seem to have an opinion.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the NCAA has informed Baylor it has no plans to issue major sanctions against the university for its complete inability to properly handle sexual assault cases. This is a departure from recent history, as it was just a few years ago that the NCAA went out of its way to punish Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sanduksy child sex abuse scandal. The news comes after months of silence on the scandal from the NCAA, which declined to comment.
The school is still subject to an NCAA investigation—should the collegiate sports ruling party determine athletes received preferential treatment during the school’s response to sexual assault reports, a.k.a. impermissible benefits, Baylor will be open to all sorts of NCAA pro-amateurism fuckery, none of which will help to change the school’s seemingly deep-rooted issues with sexual assault response. As it currently stands, the Baptist institution’s leadership and fanbase appear to be split on how to best handle the case of mass ignorance and deplorable treatment of sexual assault victims that persists.
The school’s board of regents has come under fire from members and fans of the football team for axing Art Briles, the man at the helm of a program that produced 19 alleged sexual assailants since 2011, because the board opted to disclose as little concrete information as possible after receiving the Pepper Hamilton report. As a loud faction made clear before this past Saturday’s blowout 66-22 loss to a .500 TCU squad, Briles’s firing remains an area of major contention. Thirty-three coaches and athletic department officials signed a statement in support of Briles; players chose to wear all-black uniforms, with some taking to social media to declare, then recant, that the jerseys were in support of Briles; prior to kickoff, fans sold “#CAB” shirts (Coach Art Briles) outside McLane Stadium; a fan in one of the suites hung a “CAB” banner.
Meanwhile, the school’s board of regents has started to speak publicly about the details of the apparently unwritten Pepper Hamilton report, granting interviews to the Dallas Morning News and Wall Street Journal to insinuate that Briles did ignore at least one case of sexual assault. Baylor’s former Title IX coordinator, Patty Crawford, also began a national press tour recently, telling CBS This Morning the school set her up to fail and continues to operate as it did prior to the Pepper Hamilton report; she also revealed Baylor’s convoluted police report policy to 60 Minutes Sports. In the midst of all of this—actually, the day of the 60 Minutes report—interim president David Garland decided it would be a good idea to start a website entitled “The Truth.” Sexual assault reform activists, such as Brenda Tracy, have called for Baylor to cancel the remainder of its season in the days following the “#CAB” shirt sale. Unfortunately, it would appear the end of the tunnel is nowhere in sight.