It’s not much, but it’s something.
Even as the harsh spotlight of media scrutiny has cast his football program in a decidedly unflattering light, Art Briles has mostly sidestepped — or completely avoided — questions regarding the sexual assault allegations that has put Baylor University square in the crosshairs. During the Big 12’s head coaches teleconference Tuesday, the Bears head coach was asked about allegations and controversy swirling around his program.
“It’s a situation where it’s a concern and it’s something we’re dealing with on a daily basis,” is all the coach would allow when asked.
Given the volume of allegations that have come out against some of his former players, Briles’ response will have fallen well short in the eyes of many.
Earlier this month, ESPN‘s Outside the Lines reported that the university essentially ignored for two years a woman’s complaint that she was sexually assaulted by two Bears football players. One of those players, Tre’Von Armstead, was expelled from BU in February of this year — he was dismissed from the team in September of last year — after the university determined that the female victim in the 2013 incident “was too drunk to consent to sex and that Armstead should have known that.”
Late last month, a different woman filed a lawsuit against Baylor in which she claims she was raped by a Bear football player, Tevin Elliott, and that the university was “deliberately indifferent to complaints by student victims of rape.”
In 2014, Elliott was convicted of sexually assaulting another different BU student at a party in 2012 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Elliott’s conviction, OTL reported in January, came after he was accused of either rape or assault five other times from October of 2009 to April of 2012 while he was still a member of the football program. In the OTL report, one of Elliott’s alleged victims, identified only as “Tanya,” alleges that the university essentially ignored allegations because the sexual assault happened off-campus and, in her mind, a football player was involved.
One of the more disturbing portions of the report was that, two weeks before “Tanya” was raped by Elliott, another woman, identified as “Kim,” had filed a police report accusing Elliott of sexually assaulting her.
In addition to Elliott, former Bear football player Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of sexually assaulting a BU student in October of 2013 following the Homecoming win over Iowa State and was sentenced to 10 years felony probation. In December of last year, the victim in that case reached a settlement with the university.
And finally, just a couple of weeks ago, reports surfaced that the Waco Police are investigating a “prominent Baylor football player” for alleged sexual assault. That player turned out to be Shawn Oakman, the star defensive lineman who is now busy preparing for the 2016 NFL draft.