Even as Baylor sees light at the end of the NCAA investigative tunnel, the university is bracing itself for yet another wave of negative headlines.
According to multiple media outlets in the area, former Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw was deposed earlier this month by lawyers representing nearly a dozen women who have filed a lawsuit against the university. In the deposition, McCaw, now the athletic director at Liberty University, claims that university officials had engaged in “an elaborate plan that essentially scapegoated black football players and the football program for being responsible for what was a decades-long, university-wide sexual assault scandal,” the Waco Tribune wrote.
McCaw resigned as BU’s athletic director in May of 2016, in the midst of the sexual assault scandal that rocked both the Bears football program specifically and the university in general. It was further claimed in the deposition by McCaw that his resignation was triggered by his “[disgust]… with the regents, the racism, the phony finding of fact” and “[not wanting] to be part of some Enron coverup scheme.” The resignation came despite the fact that he was urged by university officials to remain at his post, McCaw further claimed.
McCaw’s deposition was part of a motion filed Wednesday in connection to the women’s lawsuit, which alleges in part that BU “denied them education opportunities protected by Title IX after they were assaulted” both physically and sexually by, some of the plaintiffs allege, football players. McCaw claimed that the university actively engaged in a conspiracy to scapegoat the athletic department, and the football program in particular, to cover up what he represented as a school-wide problem
McCaw expressed disgust at the coordinated effort to conceal the University-wide failures by instead focusing exclusively on African-Americans… with racially charged labels like ‘300-pound black football player’ being freely thrown around to the exclusion of other instances of University-wide misconduct,” the motion says.
In late January of 2017, damning details in one of the handful of the lawsuits facing the university emerged, with that suit alleging that 31 Bears football players had committed 52 acts of rape over a period of four years beginning in 2011.
Not long after, a legal filing connected to the libel lawsuit filed by a former BU football staffer produced emails and text messages that paint a picture of former head coach Art Briles and/or his assistants as unrestrained rogue elements concerned with nothing more than the image of the football program off the field and its performance on it. The details in a damning document dump included allegations that Briles attempted to circumvent BU’s “judicial affairs folks” when it came to one player’s arrest… and on Briles asking, in response to one of his players brandishing a gun on a female, “she reporting [it] to authorities?”… and asking “she a stripper?” when told one of his players expected a little something extra from a female masseuse… and stating in a text “we need to know who [the] supervisor is and get him to alert us first” in response to a player who was arrested on a drug charge because the apartment superintendent called the police.
In reference to a woman who alleged she was gang-raped by several Bears football players, Briles allegedly responded, “those are some bad dudes. Why was she around those guys?”
In this latest deposition, McCaw alleged that the Baylor Police Department, its former chief in particular, ignored reports of rape. Additionally, McCaw levied damning claims at attorneys for Pepper Hamilton, the law firm retained to conduct an “independent” investigation into the sexual assault allegations.
From the Tribune‘s report:
McCaw said Pepper Hamilton attorneys told him there would be three potential outcomes to their report: a “detailed document,” a “summary report,” or “to whitewash the whole thing.” He said it was ultimately decided that Baylor regent J. Cary Gray would write a “false” and “misleading finding of fact skewed to make the football program look bad and cover up the campus-wide failings.”
McCaw said former Baylor Police Chief Jim Doak had discouraged reporting of sexual assaults and ignored rape reports, according to the motion. He said former high-level administrator Reagan Ramsower, who also took heavy criticism during the scandal, once said that “if Chief Doak was still here, we wouldn’t fire him. We’d have to execute him.
McCaw said he learned of rape allegations involving Baylor athletes through media reports, and also testified that a Baylor police dispatcher once put a woman reporting that she had been raped on hold to order himself a meal.
In response to McCaw’s explosive allegations, Baylor released a statement in which the university attempted to downplay their former athletic director’s claims.
“The plaintiffs’ counsel have grossly mischaracterized facts to promote a misleading narrative in an effort to deflect attention away from the actual facts of the case pending before the court,” the statement began. “Baylor has complied and will continue to comply with all court rules in this case. We will maintain our diligent efforts to keep discovery focused on this specific case while steadfastly protecting the privacy of our students and their records that are uninvolved in this matter. As permitted by the court’s rules, Baylor will be filing a written response to the Plaintiffs’ motion.”
“Much of the testimony of Mr. McCaw that is selectively quoted in the motion is based on speculation, hearsay and even media reports.”