Boise State was entirely unaware of Sam Ukwuiachu‘s accusations of sexual assault while he was a student-athlete at Boise State. That is the latest official word on what Boise State knew during his time in Boise, and it comes off looking like good news for Baylor and Baylor head coach Art Briles.
Briles had seemed to get into some hot water by suggesting Boise State did not inform he and his staff of Ukwuachu’s off-field troubles in the transfer process of Ukwuachu in 2013. Former Boise State head coach Chris Petersen issued a statement stating he was compliant with providing as much information as possible to Baylor’s staff, in hopes of offering Ukwuachu another chance. Briles later clarified his statements regarding what was relayed from Boise State. There was no word one way or the other on whether or not Petersen was aware of the sexual assault accusation at Boise State. Ukwuachu, who has been found guilty of rape of a Baylor soccer player and sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation, never played a down at Baylor as he sat out while a legal investigation was ongoing.
The statement released by Boise State does not explain why Ukwuachu was dismissed from the program. It only confirms the university was not aware of any sexual assault accusations. The events that ultimately led to Ukwuachu’s removal from the program still remain a mystery. Apparently former Florida head coach Will Muschamp knew something. What did he know?
Here is what the statement from Boise State says in its entirety;
The incidents and factors that contributed to Sam Ukwuachu’s dismissal from the Boise State football team had nothing to do with accusations of any sexual assaults or with accusations that he physically assaulted any women. However, federal laws protecting privacy prohibit Boise State from releasing information about what did result in his dismissal from the Boise State University football team.
Boise State University never received any reports nor had any knowledge of Sam Ukwuachu being involved in any accusations of sexual assault before or during his time at Boise State.
In widely reported testimony from the Aug. 20 Texas trial, Ukwuachu’s former girlfriend stated Ukwuachu hit and choked her while they were students at Boise State. This information about their relationship was not reported to Boise State when the two were students here. While neither student is currently enrolled at Boise State, the University has requested a transcript of the testimony and will begin a Title IX inquiry immediately based on this testimony about a potential physically abusive relationship between the two former students. That inquiry, like all such inquiries, will not be subject to public records requests for privacy reasons.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law restricting the ability of an institution of higher education to release student information without their specific written permission. Nevertheless, an exception exists for the release of information where a validly issued subpoena is produced. University officials coordinated with McLennan County prosecuting attorneys, releasing records to them pursuant to a valid subpoena, as required by FERPA. Those records, despite having been released pursuant to subpoena, remain protected, and FERPA prohibits Boise State from releasing even those that have become part of the public record in the trial. In addition to FERPA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act restricts Boise State from releasing certain information about students as well.
Boise State does not say why Ukwuachu was dismissed from the program, so it still remains a bit of a mystery as to what really happened in the whole saga.