The following is an excerpt from the “findings of fact” report by Baylor University’s Board of Regents regarding the alleged coverup of reports of sexual assault:
Based on a high‐level audit of all reports of sexual harassment or violence for three academic years from 2012‐2013 through 2014‐2015, Pepper found that the University’s student conduct processes were wholly inadequate to consistently provide a prompt and equitable response under Title IX, that Baylor failed to consistently support complainants through the provision of interim measures, and that in some cases, the University failed to take action to identify and eliminate a potential hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, or address its effects for individual complainants or the broader campus community. Pepper also found examples of actions by University administrators that directly discouraged complainants from reporting or participating in student conduct processes, or that contributed to or accommodated a hostile environment. In one instance, those actions constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault. In addition to broader University failings, 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.
The report, while frustratingly vague, is more than damning. You can read the entire text here.
The question now is of what is to be done with Baylor University’s football program. Does the program deserve the “death penalty,” meaning a one‐year ban from NCAA competition? While the NCAA should use the death penalty for Baylor Football, they deserve far worse. The report finds that, in multiple instances, victims of sexual assault by football players were discouraged from reporting their assault and, in at least one case, threatened with reprisal by the University if they did. These offenses go far beyond unethical, beyond immoral, they are, objectively, evil. Frankly, a single year ban on competition would be woefully insufficient, it would only be a start. This is a Baptist College, touting “Christian values,” a school for whom the now former University President Ken Starr’s dogged moralistic pursuit of President Clinton was almost certainly viewed as a positive when considering his employment. On top of whatever penalty is meted out by the NCAA, Baylor needs to self‐impose further, more severe, penalties.