Baylor University has issued an intent to terminate the job of head football coach Art Briles after an independent and external review of Baylor’s institutional response to Title IX and related compliance issues. Briles has been suspended from duties pending further action. In a statement, the review’s findings of the investigation reflected a fundamental failure by Baylor to implement Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA).
The findings include Baylor failing to take action to identify and eliminate a potential hostile environment, prevent its recurrence or address its effects; actions by administrators directly discouraged some complainants from reporting or participating in student conduct processes and in one instance constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault.; and there were 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 and to a report of dating violence.
“We were horrified by the extent of these acts of sexual violence on our campus. This investigation revealed the University’s mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive, responsive and caring environment for students,” said Richard Willis, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents. “The depth to which these acts occurred shocked and outraged us. Our students and their families deserve more, and we have committed our full attention to improving our processes, establishing accountability and ensuring appropriate actions are taken to support former, current and future students.”
Briles was hired to lead the program in 2008.
In addition to Briles dismissal, Kenneth Starr will be removed from his role as president of the school, effective May 30. Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and placed on probation. Additional members of administration and athletics program have also been dismissed. Neither these individuals nor the disciplinary actions will be identified publicly, the school said.