Former Baylor Title IX Coordinator Reacts to New Developments in Sex Assault Scandal - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Former Baylor Title IX Coordinator Reacts to New Developments in Sex Assault Scandal

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    Former Baylor Title IX Coordinator Reacts to New Developments in Sex Assault Scandal

    There are major new developments in the Baylor football sexual assault scandal. NBC 5 gets reaction from the school's former Title IX coordinator. (Published Friday, Feb. 3, 2017)

    A former Title IX coordinator at Baylor University is reacting to the latest allegations in the sexual assault scandal involving the school's football program.

    On Thursday, a new court filing detailed allegations that former head football coach Art Briles ignored sexual assaults by players, failed to alert university officials or discipline athletes and allowed them to continue playing.

    The latest information comes in response to a lawsuit against the university and high-ranking officials, by the former assistant athletic director, who said he was falsely accused of mishandling several cases.

    "My concerns were solidified in a lot of ways," said Patty Crawford, Baylor's former Title IX coordinator, whose job was to investigate sexual assault complaints until she stepped down last fall.

    "You can't fight discrimination in a discriminatory environment so severe, and I could not take the fall for Baylor for that, and I couldn't stay there for the students, knowing that I wasn't being effective for them," Crawford said.

    She also filed a complaint with the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.

    Crawford's Dallas-based attorney, Rogge Dunn, questions Baylor's timing for releasing the damning new evidence in this latest filing. It comes one day after Briles dropped a libel lawsuit against the university.

    "Baylor has said they have full transparency, had Pepper Hamilton and they've come clean," said Dunn. "Yet now, we find out Baylor has these thermo-nuclear texts regarding Briles and the athletic director and they only release them as a legal tactic in an existing lawsuit, to help Baylor. So they had these all along, if they're transparent, why didn't they produce them?"

    Crawford believes the university continued to hold back information even after high-profile leaders were fired or demoted, and she says it's time to refocus on what could be dozens of victims of sexual assault.

    "Let's clean it up, let's take our own self-interest out of this and really fight violence," Crawford said.

    NBC 5 reached out to university leaders on Friday but they are not commenting on this.

    In the past, they've said they adopted more 100 recommendations from an outside law firm to respond better. They've also made a $5 million commitment, including adding staff to the school's Title IX office and improving case management.

    Friday evening, an organization called "Bears for Leadership Reform" issued a statement calling for full transparency from the board of regents after these new details came to light.

    The group says, "We are shocked and appalled by the information in this court filing, and the fact that the regents - with full knowledge of this information - reportedly paid Art Briles and others millions of dollars in severance is deeply troubling… This is part of a much bigger institutional failure."

    Drayton McLane is listed on that group's board of directors. He is a major donor for Baylor and the namesake of its new football stadium.

    A reminder of how long this has been going on, back in 2015 Baylor hired the law firm Pepper Hamilton to look into how sexual assault cases were handled. In a scathing report, the firm called the university's response "wholly inadequate."

    There is also a federal Title IX investigation ongoing that started in October.

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