Really, who could have guessed?
Midway through a nine-month probe into Baylor University’s institutional response to sexual violence, the investigating law firm and the university revised their legal relationship to, in anticipation of litigation, conceal the investigation’s most damning findings, documents filed in a Title IX lawsuit initiated by 10 alleged sexual assault victims state.
Communications between high-ranking Baylor officials and a Pepper Hamilton LLP attorney reflect the shift in relationship to establish attorney-client privilege around the investigation…
Even Penn State didn’t pull that stunt.
It’s crap like this that reinforces for me the uselessness of insisting that it’s up to the NCAA to do something about Baylor. Put aside for the moment that this really isn’t a situation where the NCAA has any real authority to take action. The reality is that Baylor has already cleaned house on the athletics side, with both the coaches and the athletic director dismissed, so even if the NCAA had any sort of mandate, all it would be doing is punishing people who had nothing to do with the problem.
What’s left to be addressed, then, is how the school’s administration enabled the entire corrupt enterprise by turning a blind eye to it as long as it could, partially because it was inadequately structured to deal with the problem, partially because key players were more than willing to turn a blind eye because Briles’ program was winning games. The institution needs to pay a severe price for that.
The only way schools are going to learn that there’s a substantial risk in not monitoring athletics responsibly is if they get nuked, financially speaking. And, like it or not, that’s only going to happen through litigation.
The university has argued that the claims of the alleged victims are vague, uninformed or untrue. It has also argued in a filing that some of the women have declined to sign authorizations enabling Baylor to review counseling and health records…
The plaintiffs’ motion also alleges former Baylor board Chairman Neal “Buddy” Jones, who left the board in 2013, possesses student email accounts, medical records and other relevant documents. Jones, who was subpoenaed by Dunnam, has not turned over documents because Baylor has not authorized him to do so, according to the filing.
“There is simply no basis by which Baylor can argue that plaintiffs are not entitled to plaintiffs’ own records and information,” the motion states.
That should be especially so when the institution hasn’t shown a shred of remorse to the victims.