For Baylor football, what once was a horrifying issue just got ten times worse.
A former graduate student filed a lawsuit against the university Friday alleging that 31 different players committed 52 acts of rape between 2011 and 2014 according to a story from the Dallas Morning News.
Those numbers are much higher than the report conducted by Pennsylvania-based law firm Pepper Hamilton, in which 17 women reported sexual or domestic assaults involving 19 players, since 2011.
According to the story, the woman is suing the university for Title IX violations and negligence.
The following is from the Dallas Morning News.
The lawsuit describes a culture of sexual violence within Baylor’s athletics, in which the school implemented a “show ’em a good time” policy that “used sex to sell” the football program to recruits. A Dallas-area high school athlete, according to the suit, said former assistant coach Kendall Briles once asked him, “Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players.”
What happened at Baylor University during that time frame is beyond awful, and the program and school have to be punished to the fullest extent if these allegations are proven to be true.
Baylor football needs the death penalty, and others seem to agree.
Should Baylor football get the death penalty?
— Shout From The Couch (@SFTC_Podcast) January 27, 2017
There’s been only one other time the NCAA has issued the death penalty in Division I athletics. That came in 1986 when the NCAA found the Southern Methodist University football program guilty of paying its players.
However, the situation down in Waco, Texas, is a much bigger problem than what happened at SMU.
This isn’t about players getting paid, a serious issue in itself. We’re talking about rape and sexual assault. Crimes individuals spend years in jail for and it’s become a “culture” for this program.
There were 52 instances by 31 different players, according to the lawsuit filed.
Times in which the team knowingly ignored the issue and in certain instances tried to cover them up according to the lawsuit.
Baylor football should be slapped with the toughest penalty there is, and it shouldn’t just be for one season either.
While it isn’t fair for the current players on Baylor or any new coaching staff to the program, it’s what has to be done. Under no circumstances should Baylor receive any less of penalty for the atrocities its former players committed if the allegations levied against them are proven true.
The NCAA and Baylor University officials need to speak up on this issue. The statement released by Interim President David Garland is only a start but does not directly address this lawsuit.
A former Baylor assistant spoke with ESPN’s Outside the Lines and disputed the claims filed in the lawsuit.
Speaking anonymously, the assistant said, “There isn’t any truth to that, just like there’s no truth to us covering up sexual assaults,” he said. “It’s all in the same boat. I just don’t get it… I want to know who the hell that’s coming from… What I don’t get is how they can just say that.”
Potential recruits have a right to know what is going on and whether their college careers will be jeopardized if they choose to attend Baylor.
Baylor had a competitive football team with a record of 40-12 between 2011 and 2014 under former head coach Art Briles, and instead of addressing the issues off the field, Baylor football coaches chose to ignore them.
Every member of the coaching staff that remains with the team from the 2011-2014 seasons should be let go by the university, and the football program should be shut down indefinitely if the allegations in the lawsuit are proven to be true.
[Featured Image by Jerry Larson/AP Images]