Baylor Football: Head Coach Art Briles Fired Over Sam Ukwuachu’s Sexual Assault Of His Ex Jacquelina Wonenberg — University President Ken Starr Steps Down

Baylor head football coach Art Briles has effectively been “suspended with the intent to terminate” on Thursday following a high-profile sexual assault case involving one of his football players last fall.

According to Baylor, the university found it necessary to fire head coach Art Briles, as well as enacting other demotions and leadership changes, due to more recent discoveries during the ongoing investigation of the sexual assault case.

In light of this decision based on the new discoveries at Baylor, the university also made the following changes.

  • Demoted interim Baylor University president, Ken Starr, to Chancellor while allowing him to keep his professor position at Baylor.
  • Baylor Athletic Director, Ian McCaw, was sanctioned and placed on probation; Baylor will report all related issues to the NCAA itself for the time being.
  • Additional members of the athletics administration program at Baylor have also been fired.

The reason why Art Briles was fired at Baylor and other parties involved were either demoted or placed on some sort of probation is due to the suspicions that Baylor was sheltering the accused footballer, Sam Ukwuachu, for sexual assault.

The Inquisitr already suspected foul play back in August when the story broke, but Art Briles is just now being fired.

Ukwuachu was only sentenced to 180 days behind bars and received 10 years probation after being found guilty of rape.

Even then, rumors were spiraling that claimed Ukwuachu’s former coaches at Boise State were aware of his abusive tendencies due to his depression but reportedly never informed Art Briles and the football staff at Baylor, the school Sam transferred to.

Nevertheless, Baylor conducted a much more thorough investigation and discovered that Art Briles and the athletic staff at Baylor had been neglectful in fulfilling their Title IX duties when reporting the rape incident themselves.

The chair of the Baylor Board of Regents, Richard Willis, stated, “We were horrified by the extent of these acts of sexual violence on our campus. This investigation revealed the University’s mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive, responsive and caring environment for students. The depth to which these acts occurred shocked and outraged us. Our students and their families deserve more, and we have committed our full attention to improving our processes, establishing accountability and ensuring appropriate actions are taken to support former, current and future students.”

Leading up to Art Briles being fired, during the investigation, Baylor failed to conduct prompt and adequate responses under Title IX regulations.

Baylor also failed to consistently support complainants. Baylor did not take any measures to address or eliminate any hostile or potentially threatening environments on campus regarding sexual assault despite its recurrence.

Leading up to Art Briles’ firing, Baylor also directly discouraged some complainants from reporting or participating in student conduct processes. Sources claim that Baylor even went as far as threatening one complainant with disciplinary action for simply reporting a sexual assault.

In addition, Baylor regents found that the Baylor football staff did not address the issue openly with the team, nor did they identify the pattern of sexual violence by football players on campus, as required by Title IX regulations.

Overall, Baylor University regents have decided that Art Briles and most of the athletic staff had handled the issue irresponsibly, thus reflecting a dysfunctional culture altogether when handling such issues as an administrative whole.

Fired head coach Art Briles has since deleted his Twitter account. More announcements are sure to be made soon.

Just how much do you think coach Briles knew about the case at Baylor? How much did he help to “sweep it under the rug”?

[Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images]