Baylor’s long slog through the NCAA’s investigative process is apparently set to reach its next milestone.
According to Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Baylor received its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA three weeks ago in connection to the investigation, opened in 2017, into the university’s handling of the sexual assault scandal that rocked both the school and the football program more than two years ago. BU will have 90 days from the date it received it to respond to the NOA, with the NCAA expected to resolve the case in the spring of next year.
While the school has yet to publicly respond, the Star-Telegram is reporting that BU will be cited for lack of institutional control. Additionally, former head coach Art Briles will be cited for failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance.
What type of penalties that could potentially arise from the investigation remain unclear.
In June of 2018, it was reported that “if people are expecting some sort of ‘Death Penalty,’ I think they are going to be disappointed.” Nearly two months later, the university bristled at reports that they had been encouraged to self-impose a bowl ban.
In that early-August report, it was reported that the NCAA’s investigation took a “left turn” at some point in the not-too-distant past that wasn’t favorable towards Bears football. That left turn, coincidentally or not, came not long after several current and former BU officials, including ex-athletic director Ian McCaw, spoke to NCAA investigators.
In a late-June deposition in connection to a lawsuit filed by nearly a dozen women against Baylor, McCaw, now the athletic director at Liberty University, claimed that BU 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 university subsequently fired back at McCaw’s portrayal.
The conclusion of the NCAA’s investigation and any subsequent penalties would serve as the bookend for what’s been a disturbing, years-long series of revelations connected to the tattered Waco institution and it’s beleaguered football program.
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 the 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?”
Briles was fired Memorial Day weekend of 2016. A coaching pariah in the United States ever since, the disgraced coach was hired by a CFL team in August of last year; a couple of hours later, after the hiring was denounced by fans and sponsors, the organization announced that Briles would no longer be joining the team.
In August of this year, Briles was named as the head coach of the Guelfi Firenze American Football team in Florence. Florence, Italy.