Sexual assault gained widespread attention on the campus in August 2015, when the magazine Texas Monthly published an investigation called "Silence at Baylor." The article raised serious questions about Baylor's handling of a sexual-assault case involving a football player, who was convicted around the time the article was published.
Since then, ESPN and others have reported on major lapses in Baylor's handling of sexual violence, and activists have spoken out about a problem that they said extends beyond the university's high-profile football team.
The controversy at Baylor reached a peak in May 2016, when the university demoted its president, Kenneth W. Starr, the former special prosecutor who led an investigation into President Bill Clinton. The university also fired its football coach and put its athletics director on probation. Mr. Starr and the athletics director, Ian McCaw, both later left the university.
At the time, the university released a summary of findings related to an investigation conducted by the law firm Pepper Hamilton. That document criticized the university for its "fundamental failure" on Title IX compliance. Many people have called on the university to release the full report on Pepper Hamilton's inquiry. But David Garland, who was named Baylor's interim president at the time of Mr. Starr's demotion, said that the report was delivered "in the form of an oral presentation that fully and comprehensively presented the individual and aggregated findings and the evidence supporting the findings."
In the wake of the investigation, the university pledged to overhaul many of its processes, based on wide-ranging recommendations from Pepper Hamilton.
Several women have sued Baylor over its handling of sexual-assault cases. In October 2016, the university's Title IX coordinator resigned. The coordinator, Patty Crawford, said in a nationally televised interview with CBS This Morning that the university had sidelined her in efforts to carry out reforms, and had retaliated against her. Ms. Crawford filed a federal Title IX complaint that sparked an investigation by the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights.
ESPN reported in November 2016 that Baylor had settled with two women who said they were gang raped by football players in 2012. Financial details of the settlement were not disclosed. Baylor said that the people who were implicated in the alleged assaults were no longer at the university.
The institution has affirmed its commitment to victims of sexual assault and pledged to shore up its compliance with Title IX. Summaries of the university's efforts can be found here.
The university's leaders face a steep challenge in enacting the reforms that they promised after Baylor’s response to sexual violence, especially involving its football team, was found to be riddled with problems.
Incidents involving the Baptist university’s powerhouse football team have unsettled many students. Now the administration is taking action on a problem that activists say runs deeper than sports.
A much-talked-about football player at Baylor University—whom coaches “expect back” this fall—is currently on trial for the sexual assault of a fellow student. Questions now swirl around what the program knew and when they knew it.