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Baylor Football Is In A Mess Of Trouble For Ignoring Alleged Sexual Assault Issues

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Baylor Football Is In A Mess Of Trouble For How They Handle Legal Issues

After five consecutive seasons of relatively unexplained success, Baylor University’s football program is swimming in some growingly troubled waters after a mess of hidden sexual assault allegations from its players continue to be exposed to the public.

For the first 15 football seasons of the Big 12 Conference’s existence (1996-2010), the Baylor Bears finished in the bottom three of the league’s six-team now-defunct South Division every single time, placing dead last 12 (80%) of those years. Such is expected when you’re the only private school in a football-crazed 12-team conference in America’s heartland, having to compete against the likes of Vince Young, Ricky Williams, and Adrian Peterson in your division every single season.

That all changed in 2011 when, in both of their fourth years at the school, head coach Art Briles and quarterback Robert Griffin III put the Bears on the map, ending the season with a 10-3 record and a Heisman Trophy courtesy of RGIII. It was surprising, but the tandem’s chemistry seemed to add up to the out-of-nowhere success: Baylor snagged a great head coach from Houston, and RGII was just a freak athlete of a good ol’ local boy who jumped at the chance to do something special at a lower profile school.

Later on in the same school year, the Baylor men’s basketball team was one win away from the Final Four, the baseball team made the College World Series, and the Brittney Griner-led women’s basketball team dominated their way to a national championship. The fact that their previous Big 12 doormat of a football program made their way into this quartet of success seemed too good to be true.

Because it was exactly that: too good to be true.

The weight of hidden assaults by several Baylor football players since that 2011 season is soon to catastrophically fall through and send the mysteriously powerful empire back into the depths of their cellar-dwelling ways, according to several ESPN reports.

Believed to be the collective mastermind behind the years-long deception is the marriage of Art Briles, a famously conservative private Christian school, and a considerably impoverished Texas town. It was only a matter of time before the legal secrets involving nearly a dozen (so far) talented, aggressive student-athletes came to light. We’re living it right now; stay tuned for an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the rise and fall of the program, coming Fall 2019.

Baylor’s police department website prominently – borderline proudly – features the fact that because it is a private university, the school is held to a different standard regarding the publicity regarding legal issues related to the school:

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 9.57.14 AM

As any American with a pulse should have learned by now from Breaking Bad, keeping extreme legal-related issues hush-hush can only make matters exponentially worse for when things actually hit the fan. Take, for example, the account from one of Tevin Elliot’s reported rape victims, who was ignored by all applicable Baylor administrators from a lengthy email that had a subject line of “I Was Raped at Baylor.”

From Outside the Lines:

“I didn’t hear from a coach, I didn’t hear from a president, I didn’t hear from the athletic director. (…) What does it take for universities to start taking a stand and saying ‘We can win football games without these predators’? How many women do you have to destroy for people to finally stand up and say ‘We’re demanding something better’?”
–Former Baylor student “Sarah”

A similar email incident apparently occurred between Briles and a victim of Shawn Oakman, in which Briles told the victim’s mother that Oakman would be removed from the team – which never happened.

The amount of different allegations and variety of elongated timespans taken to properly address the incidents within the football program and school police departments is overwhelming. For the sake of simplicity, here are the names and convictions against Baylor football players, along with how long each crime took to be properly addressed:

Name: Shawn Oakman
Alleged crime: Sexual assault; (status)
Date of alleged crime: April 3, 2016

According to ESPN, Oakman transferred from Penn State in 2012 after being dismissed as a result of similar accusations.

Name: Tevin Elliott
Alleged crime: Sexual assault (at least five different times)
Legal status: 20 years in prison
Date of alleged crime: October 2009-April 2012
Date of sentencing: January 2014

Name: Sam Ukwuachu
Alleged crime: Sexual assault
Legal status: 180 days in jail (served), 10 years probation
Date of alleged crime: October 2013
Date of sentencing: August 21, 2016

Name: Tre’Von Armstead
Alleged crime: Sexual assault
Date of alleged crime: April 20, 2013
Date of crime’s addressing: Dismissed from team September 2015; Baylor only began investigating the claim at this time

Name: Shawmychael Chatman (practice player)
Alleged crime: Sexual assault
Date of alleged crime: April 20, 2013
Date of alleged crime’s addressing: Dismissed from team September 2015; Baylor only began investigating the claim at this time

Name: Devin Chafin
Alleged crime: Assault
Date of alleged crime: April 2014
Date of alleged crime’s addressing: N/A; no charges filed

Name: Tyler Stephenson
Alleged crime: Assault
Date of alleged crime: April 2012
Date of alleged crime’s addressing: N/A; played in 2012, case has been closed by Waco police

Name: Ahmad Dixon
Alleged crimes: Domestic violence, sexual assault
Date of alleged crime: May 2011, June 2011, September 2013

TCU head coach Gary Patterson took exception to the lack of disciplinary actions on Dixon, saying Dixon “beats up a guy at the beginning of the season and doesn’t get suspended.”

Name: Gary Mason
Alleged crime: Assault
Date of alleged crime: Spring 2011
Date of crime’s addressing: Arrested June 23, 2011; no known further action taken

Name: Isaac Williams
Alleged crime: Assault
Date of alleged crime: Spring 2011
Date of crime’s addressing: July 19, 2011 (turned himself in); suspended from team up until that month

You may recognize Oakman as the person behind what is widely regarded as the most popular sports-related meme from the 2014-15 school year:

In November 2011, the media teed off on 84-year-old Penn State coach Joe Paterno – who ended up dying two months later – for hiding child sex abuse accounts that involved one of his former assistant coaches. While largely deserved for those in the Penn State mess, the fact that the same amount of outrage is not currently going down with everything surrounding the Baylor football players and administrators is a disgrace of extraordinary measures.

It’s officially time for all authorities involved with the school – including Briles and president Ken Starr – to live up to their school’s Baptist standards by fessing up to their blatant sweeping-under-the-rug. After all, Proverbs 28:13 preaches: “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

[via Outside the Lines, ESPN]

Image via YouTube

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Evan Lawrence

Not shy about his love for cheesy romantic comedies, Evan is a fourth-year senior at the University of Kentucky who took way too much pride for being a summer intern for Grandex's Post Grad Problems while still an undergrad.

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