N.C.A.A. Will Not Punish Baylor for Sexual Assault Scandal

N.C.A.A. Will Not Punish Baylor for Sexual Assault Scandal
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N.C.A.A. Will Not Punish Baylor for Sexual Assault Scandal

N.C.A.A. Will Not Punish Baylor for Sexual Assault Scandal

Baylor University, where sexual assault was a horrific norm in the football curriculum in the 2010s, has not broken NCAA rules by failing to report allegations of wrongdoing, the association concluded Wednesday. .

“Baylor admitted to moral and ethical breaches in his handling of sexual and interpersonal violence on campus, but argued that these breaches, as egregious as they were, did not constitute violations of NCAA rules,” wrote one association committee in a decision released Wednesday. “Ultimately, and with enormous reluctance, this panel agrees.”

A different result, the committee said, would have forced the panel “to ignore the rules that association members have adopted,” something it wrote would be “antithetical to the integrity of the infringement process.”

The association’s decision came more than five years after a law firm hired by the university concluded that Baylor’s football program executives had sometimes “affirmatively chosen not to report sexual violence “To the competent authorities and that the team leaders had decided to” divert the student’s case. conduct or criminal proceedings.

The law firm’s findings exposed problems across the university and ultimately led to the resignation or firing of university president Ken Starr; his football coach, Art Briles; and athletic director Ian McCaw. The NCAA delivered a notice of allegations, which is the equivalent of an indictment for the college sports industry, to Baylor in 2018.

On Wednesday, however, the NCAA investigation ended with just a handful of violations involving academic and recruiting rules. The penalties the committee imposed for these offenses included four years’ probation.

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In addition to NCAA scrutiny, Baylor has faced a criminal investigation and a wave of civil litigation related to sexual assault. Baylor prevailed in one of those cases in June, when a jury in Houston found that under state law the university was not responsible for the sexual assault of a woman in 2017.

But Baylor has been penalized in other ways. In October, for example, the US Department of Education fined the university more than $ 461,000 in connection with violations of a federal law that governs campus crime statistics. The university has also made deals with some women who have filed complaints under Title IX, the federal law that effectively prohibits sexual harassment and assault in educational institutions.

While the NCAA has generally focused its enforcement power on more trivial issues in college sport, it has intervened in allegations of sexual misconduct in the past.

In 2012, the association fined Penn State $ 60 million and banned its playoff football program for four years over its handling of the child sex abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, an assistant coach. for a long time. At the time, the association’s president, Mark Emmert, said that football “would never again be placed before education, education and the protection of young people”.

About two years later, after sustained criticism that it had exceeded the limits, the association reduced some of the penalties, including the playoff restrictions, due to what officials said they saw as the good behavior of the university.

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