Former Baylor AD says school 'essentially scapegoated' black football players in rape scandal

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WACO, TX – NOVEMBER 19: A general view of play between the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/teams/kkb" data-ylk="slk:Kansas State Wildcats">Kansas State Wildcats</a> and the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/teams/bbb" data-ylk="slk:Baylor Bears">Baylor Bears</a> at McLane Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
WACO, TX – NOVEMBER 19: A general view of play between the Kansas State Wildcats and the Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Former Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw said in a deposition that the school “essentially scapegoated” black players within the football program to help cover up “decades-long” institution-wide issues.

The deposition was obtained by the Waco Tribune. The deposition came after the current Liberty University athletic director was subpoenaed as part of a suit by multiple women against the school because of its lack of action regarding sexual assault accusations.

McCaw resigned after Pepper Hamilton report

McCaw was in charge of the athletic department as the Baylor sexual assault scandal unfolded and resigned after he was placed on probation and former coach Art Briles was fired. He claims Baylor’s Board of Regents was more concerned with image issues and preventing a lack of enrollment than it was in actually fixing issues.

From the Tribune

“It’s bad for business … It’s bad for Baylor’s brand, bad for admission, bad for tuition revenue,” McCaw allegedly said of the board’s motivations about the scandal. “And obviously you know Baylor is heavily reliant – it does not have a large endowment, so it’s heavily reliant on tuition revenue. So if there’s a dip in admissions, a dip in tuition revenue, that severely affects the university.”

He also claims that “Baylor regent J. Cary Gray would write a ‘false” and ‘misleading finding of fact skewed to make the football program look bad and cover up the campus-wide failings.'”

A previous lawsuit has alleged that 31 Baylor football players committed 52 assaults from 2011-14. McCaw and Briles were both in charge during that entire time period. Former university president Ken Starr, a man who looked as tone-deaf as possible in 2016, also resigned his position.

A report put together by the Pepper Hamilton law firm after its investigation of the school’s handling of sexual assault allegations, commonly referred to as the Pepper Hamilton report, was released in May of 2016. The report itself was not released to the public. According to a suit against the school — there are many of them — it was kept confidential because of possible legal action to come. 

Baylor said in a statement to the Tribune that lawyers for the women have “have grossly mischaracterized facts to promote a misleading narrative in an effort to deflect attention away from the actual facts of the case pending before the court.”

McCaw previously accused of asking for ‘immunity’ for accused players

Per the Tribune, McCaw claims in his deposition that he only learned of sexual assault accusations by athletes through media reports.

Former Title IX coordinator Patty Crawford alleged in 2016 that McCaw had asked in February of 2016 if players currently enrolled at the school could have immunity against Title IX allegations. The detail, revealed by 60 Minutes Sports, included information from others at the meeting that said McCaw had asked Crawford if she had the power to grant immunity to players who knew about sexual assault allegations.

Crawford went public about her time at Baylor after refusing to sign a non-disclosure agreement with the school, which responded to her accusations by saying her “motives for misstating the facts are patently evident to her colleagues.”

McCaw was hired at Liberty not long after leaving Baylor

McCaw landed on his feet at the evangelical Christian school in November of 2016 despite the turmoil that went on at Baylor while he was the Bears’ athletic director. When his hiring was announced, Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr. said McCaw’s success “speaks for itself.”

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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