Baylor Football: University should get punished, but it won’t

Yet another Title IX lawsuit has been filed against Baylor football. What will this mean for the university? Most likely not much.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Baylor University, in an attempt to take some of the heat off the beleaguered school, hired a female president to take over. I also reported the basic facts of the upcoming lawsuits against the school here. Now there is another lawsuit pending, and this one claims to have video evidence. For those of you keeping count, that means that Baylor University has seven total lawsuits pending.

The newest suit, which came out on Tuesday, alleges that a female athlete was drugged and raped in an off-campus apartment in 2012. The number of players involved in the incident is unclear, but the report estimates at least four and possibly up to eight players were involved, according to CBS Sports. In addition, the suit alleges that there is video evidence of the incident.

Baylor’s legal team still has responded to the accusations in an expectedly blunt manner. In a recent statement to the press, the university’s representatives aver: “The alleged incident outlined in the court filing occurred more than five years ago, and Baylor University has been in conversations with the victim’s legal counsel for many months in an attempt to reach an amicable resolution.”

The school may try to deny involvement by claiming that since the incident occurred off-campus, it wasn’t their responsibility. The issue here is that under Title IX, once the victim reported the incident to school officials — which she claims she did — Baylor was under legal obligation to begin an investigation.

If you’ll note, Baylor has not actually denied any of the claims, but has rather given the type of vague responses we’ve become used to in cases such as this. They do make it a point to grouse about the incident being five years before. However, in the state of Texas, sexual assault charges have a ten-year statute of limitations, so why the university thought that the date of the offense was pertinent perplexing.

These allegations have far-reaching implications for the university. Title IX violations — in which a federally-funded university is expected to act quickly and thoroughly investigate any sexual assault charges — have been largely pushed aside by the university. In addition, two of the cases against the university ended with criminal convictions for the offenders and no punishment from Baylor.

The fact that the school dithered for two years before investigating the claims against players Tre’Von Armstead and Myke Chatman tells me that the school is either grossly incompetent or unrepentant. Honestly, I’m not sure which is worse.

At the very least, the football program should be suspended from play until the court case comes to fruition. Of course, considering that the football team generates $36 million in revenue, it’s doubtful that will happen.

The NCAA, which is the only bureaucracy with the ability to stop sports programs at the school, has no power over legal issues of this magnitude. So unless the State of Texas steps in and decides to punish the guilty players ex post facto, the culture at Baylor will remain undeterred.

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