In January, ESPN aired a chilling Outside The Lines report on former Baylor football players Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu, who were both convicted of multiple sexual assaults on women attending the school. The sexual assault convictions of Elliott and Ukwuachu were already a bad enough look for Baylor University, but what have made even larger headlines recently are the ways that the University handled these cases, as well as their procedures during the conducting of investigations into these extremely serious crimes.
On Thursday, ESPN obtained new documents revealing more domestic violence, sexual assault, and rape allegations involving current or former Baylor football players, that for the most part, went unreported or unknown. According to these documents obtained by ESPN, multiple members of Baylor’s administration and football coaching staff, including head coach Art Briles, were aware of the allegations and reports made against these players, but none of the players named in the documents ever received disciplinary action from the school. The school is currently reviewing the matter and the findings of an investigation done by a Philadelphia law firm into the school’s handling of these domestic violence cases. Baylor is also currently determining whether or not to terminate the contract of Art Briles.
* In April, ESPN’s Outside The Lines reported that it took Baylor two years to investigate a sexual assault report made against football players Tre’Von Armstead and Shamycheal Chatman. Under federal law, Baylor was obligated to investigate these crimes immediately. Neither Armstead or Chatman ever faced charges.
* In March, former Bears defensive end and NFL Draft prospect Shaun Oakman was charged with sexually assaulting a Baylor graduate student. Oakman’s trial is still ongoing, and he was not selected in the 2016 NFL Draft.
* Another case also stated that a woman reported being physically assaulted by her ex-boyfriend, an unnamed Baylor football player, multiple times back in April of 2014. The woman reported the alleged assaults to the school’s football team chaplain Wes Yeary. Head coach Art Briles and University President Ken Starr were also reportedly made aware of the allegations, but the unnamed Baylor football player never received any disciplinary action.
* In April 2014, a woman told Waco Police that Baylor running back Devin Chaffin grabbed her by the arm and slammed her into a car in front of multiple witnesses. According to the police report, the woman also claimed that earlier in that same week, Chaffin grabbed her by the throat, slammed her against a wall, threw her to the ground and kicked her. Chaffin never faced discipline from the school.
In today’s world of professional and collegiate athletics, the one thing a league, organization, or school CANNOT DO is ignore domestic violence and sexual assault allegations. Now, nothing has been proven in a court of law to this point regarding Baylor’s handling of these cases, but let’s not all act like a bunch of ignorant shmucks and not believe that something was clearly going on down in Waco. There are just way too many cases and inconsistencies in the statements and actions made by the University of Baylor to believe anything they or any of their employees handling these cases say. If all of these allegations and reports of mishandling and ignoring these cases are true, Art Briles and anybody else involved in handling these cases has to go. There isn’t even a debate.
**Sidenote** Not to make light of any of these extremely serious cases, but it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that a division one college football program in Texas that seemingly just became relevant again in the last five years tried to hide despicable actions by its players to help them stay a national power. Texas is just a different world, especially when you mix in football. Baylor is making the NFL look like genuises.