It started as rumors, became an incident, then we learned it was a pattern. Baylor University’s assault incidents went from snowball effect to full on avalanche.
Now another Baylor football coach, Jeff Lebby, has been accused of knowing about, discussing, and not reporting, an alleged assault committed by another former football player, according to Joe Schad, of ESPN.
Schad reported two stories via Facebook -- the first being Dolores Lozano's claims that she was assualted several times and that several Baylor coaches and employees were aware. The second containing Devin Chafin’s reply to Dolores Lozano’s claims. Schad quoted Chafin saying he “never discussed the situation” with Art Briles, but “did with current assistant Jeff Lebby," who happens to be Briles’ son-in-law.
Chafin told Schad he was never interviewed by Waco police and there were “no criminal charges for a reason,” as he put it.
Chafin is just one of five Baylor football player that have been linked to accusations of acts of violence by ESPN’s investigative sports show, Outside the Lines.
On top of that, former Baylor team members - Tevin Elliot, Sam Ukwuachu, and Shawn Oakman - have all been accused of sexual assault while at Baylor (Elliot and Ukwuachu were indicted, Oakman is awaiting trial).
The University has also had to suspend the activities of a campus fraternity after one if its members, Jacob Anderson - who has since been removed from the organization - was accused of sexually assaulting a female outside of a party.
Baylor is becoming the poster-child for universities hiding incidents of violence against women in the interest of public appearance - begging the question, how much more is going to be discovered when it is all said and done? How many university employees are involved? And the most troublesome question of all, are there other universities that are anywhere near this bad?
Baylor is reaching a point where its reputation will be tarnished for a generation and it is in unparalleled territory. This is one of the most profound cases of cover-ups with sports; it detracts from the totality of the issue. The university has been accused of sub-par performance in its investigation-processes, with not just athletes, but all male-students.
With every incident reported, you can only hope that it is the last, but this rabbit hole seems a lot deeper than previously imagined.
It should, however, make everyone and every university take a second look at what they are doing to prevent these issues when possible, or report and investigate once allegations are made. We must use BU to learn from, or it will inevitably be repeated.
Read the Pepper Hamilton Report regarding Baylor's internal investigation of its Title IX practices here