Lawsuit alleges far more rapes by Baylor football players than disclosed by university
by Matthew Watkins, The Texas Tribune
A federal lawsuit filed against Baylor University in Waco on Friday claims 31 football players at the school committed 52 acts of rape from 2011 to 2014, which is far more than had been previously disclosed by university officials.
The suit also alleges a culture in which female students were used to recruit football players with "an implied promise of sex." Coaches helped promote that culture, the suit says.
The filing says former offensive coach Kendal Briles once asked a Dallas-area recruit, "Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players."
The suit doesn't say how the plaintiff or her lawyers know the details of all the rapes. It says that its allegations are "based upon investigations."
The plaintiff was a student at Baylor. She was part of a group known as the Baylor Bruins. The suit says the women in the group were attractive and helped recruit players based on the "implied promise of sex."
The woman, identified in the filing as Elizabeth Doe, was gang raped by two football players in 2012, the suits says.
In a statement, Baylor's interim President David Garland didn't address the allegations. But he said the university has made "great progress" in implementing more than 100 recommendations to improve the safety of students "and restore faith in the university."
"Our hearts go out to any victims of sexual assault," the statement read. "Any assault involving members of our campus community is reprehensible and inexcusable."
The lawsuit is at least the sixth filed against Baylor since a scandal over sexual assaults involving football players erupted in 2014. Last year, football coach Art Briles was fired over the allegations. President Ken Starr was demoted and later left the school, too.
Baylor leaders have admitted that there were serious problems with the football team. In October, regents told the Wall Street Journal that 19 football players had been accused of rape since 2011.
Art Briles has since sued the school, saying the regents said untrue things about him in the article and in other public comments.
An investigation commissioned by the school found that Baylor "failed to consistently support" students who reported sexual assault and "failed to take action to identify and eliminate a potential hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, or address its effects for individual complaints or the broader campus community."
The investigation also found that administrators at times intervened in sexual violence complaints and that coaches met with victims who made allegations against football players but didn't pass those allegations on to anyone outside the athletic department.
Baylor has since hired a new football coach, and none of the old assistant coaches remain at the school. Kendal Briles, who is the son of Art Briles, is now a coach at Florida Atlantic University.
An email to FAU was not immediately returned Friday night.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/01/27/lawsuit-alleges-even-more-rapes-baylor-football-pl/.