News & Updates: Statements Provided to Media
“We sincerely regret that the student in this case did not have the Baylor experience that she expected, and our prayers remain with her now and into the future. The safety and security of our students continues to be our top priority as we fulfill our Christian mission to provide a safe and caring environment for all members of the University community.
“We extend our appreciation to the members of the jury and Judge Reeder, who over the past three-plus weeks heard from many witnesses and experts before evaluating the facts in this case and ultimately determining the truth and rendering a unanimous verdict and judgment in Baylor’s favor.
Nothing is more important at Baylor University than providing a safe and caring community for our students. The University is committed to following appropriate Title IX policies and guidelines. This includes providing robust training and education to both incoming and current students in an effort to prevent sexual assault – training that each of the students involved in this alleged incident received when they came to Baylor. The University works tirelessly not only to respond to allegations of assault, but to prevent such incidents from occurring in the first place.
The former student has not attended Baylor since March 2016, when he was arrested on sexual assault charges. In addition, following his arrest, the fraternity he was involved in was suspended immediately by the University and currently remains suspended. Baylor handled this case quickly and in accordance with the University’s Title IX policy.
(Updated Oct. 31, 2018, 2:00 pm)A point in the Big 12's “Report on Verification of Implementation of 105 Recommendations by Baylor University” -- amplified this morning by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram – contains a mischaracterization of the results of the University’s publicly available campus climate survey.
The Plaintiffs have become hidden figures in this litigation, serving as a backdrop for Plaintiffs’ counsel’s continued campaign to broadly investigate the operations of Baylor University. Despite the Plaintiffs’ counsel’s scorched-earth discovery of Board operational issues, these matters are not before the Court in this case. The stories of 10 female students who have reported incidents of sexual assault are.
The continued efforts of Art Briles and his supporters over the past two years to rewrite history cannot go unchallenged. Just as when he was coach, he again attempts to skirt responsibility for actions of the football program that he led, the players he recruited and coached, the coaches he managed and the loose discipline he championed.
This case is not about former Baylor football player Tevin Elliott, who has already been convicted in a court of law and is currently serving in a state prison. None of the 10 Plaintiffs in this case are claiming they were assaulted by Elliott.
Baylor University took several unprecedented actions in May 2016 regarding its response to incidents of sexual and interpersonal violence within the campus community – making significant changes to University and athletics leadership, publicly releasing findings from the investigation that outlined the University’s failures and making public a broad array of 105 recommendations for improvement that were drawn from the investigation.
Despite the numerous, factually baseless assertions in Mr. McCaw’s deposition, one fact remains – several incidents of sexual and interpersonal violence involving student-athletes were reported during his tenure as athletics director. It was the Baylor Board of Regents that stepped up and took action, launching an independent investigation – by the nation’s top sexual assault legal experts – of not only the football program but of the entire campus in terms of how reports of sexual violence were handled over a specific period. The results of this investigation were outlined in a Findings of Fact document that led to sweeping leadership changes and a slate of 105 campus-wide recommendations for improvement, which have since been completed.
We share the authors’ view that student sexual violence is a complex and important problem that defies simple solutions. We are deeply sorry for anyone connected with the Baylor community who has been harmed by sexual violence.
“Baylor University wants Rep. Gutierrez to know the real Baylor community and campus. Rep. Gutierrez and the Regents or administration have never met or visited. So, we ask that Rep. Gutierrez, after the legislative session, please come to Waco and visit our campus with both of his daughters. He will find that the Baylor campus is extremely safe and welcoming, not as depicted in his recent op-ed. We worry that the op-ed may be influenced by second-hand information provided by people with agendas.
“As legal proceedings continue, Baylor University maintains its right to present facts – as available to the institution – in response to the many allegations contained in these cases. This legal response in no way changes Baylor’s position that any assault involving members of our campus community is reprehensible and inexcusable. The University remains committed to eliminating all forms of sexual and gender-based harassment and discrimination within our campus community.”
Baylor University continues to be aware of the Bears for Leadership Reform’s views. Today’s statements by the BLR ignore the considerable progress the Baylor Board of Regents has made to create greater visibility into the governance of the University, as well as to combat the issue of sexual assault.
Baylor University is encouraged by today’s ruling. The Court’s decision was based entirely on the plaintiffs’ pleadings and assumed that every claim they presented was accurate. The Court summarily rejected every claim under state law as well as dismissed some of the Title IX allegations related to four of the plaintiffs.
Baylor University renews its pledge to extend our full cooperation with governmental and law enforcement authorities surrounding the issue of sexual assaults that occurred within our campus community several years ago, as we have done with other external inquiries that are currently underway.
Our hearts go out to any victims of sexual assault. Any assault involving members of our campus community is reprehensible and inexcusable. Baylor University has taken unprecedented actions that have been well-documented in response to the issue of past and alleged sexual assaults involving our campus community.
Beyond confirming Baylor University is and will continue to be strong and financially healthy, we will not respond to such speculation with any further comment.
In November 2016 Baylor provided answers to a variety of questions from the Baylor Family and the media about the sexual assault crisis.