Baylor regents offered more information than previously revealed on assaults involving football players that led to the firing of coach Art Briles, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal on Friday.
Since 2011, 17 women reported sexual or domestic assaults by 19 players, including four alleged gang rapes, the regents told the newspaper.
Briles was fired in May for his mishandling of sexual assaults by his players.
Baylor hired Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton to review the school’s response to sexual violence in the fall of 2015 after football player Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of sexual assault. Baylor had cleared the defensive end in its own investigation, which used a much lower standard of evidence than criminal courts do.
Pepper Hamilton’s “findings of facts” provided a damning indictment of the school’s failure to comply with Title IX broadly and specifically faulted the football program that “hindered enforcement of rules and policies, and created a cultural perception that football was above the rules.”
According to the Journal story, regents said in at least one case, Briles knew about an alleged incident and didn’t report it to police, Baylor’s judicial affairs office or the Title IX office.
“There was a cultural issue there that was putting winning football games above everything else, including our values,” said J. Cary Gray, a lawyer and member of the Baylor board of regents told the Journal.
Ernest Cannon, Briles’ attorney, told the Journal that it the regents’ comments constitute Baylor violating the nondisparagement clause in an agreement Briles signed with the school in June.
Since Baylor released the Pepper Hamilton report in May, several in the community have called for greater transparency on the extent of the problem and who was to blame. The lack of information has fueled calls by some that Briles should not have been fired and should return to the school.
Baylor Revolution, an anonymous group of fans, tweeted earlier this month that it was selling t-shirts that say #BringBackCAB to create a blackout at the Nov. 5 game against TCU. The group has since deleted the tweet.
Baylor is currently facing four federal Title IX lawsuits from 13 women, many of whom did not say they were assaulted by football players and who allege that the school failed to respond appropriately to their alleged assaults.
Patty Crawford, Baylor’s Title IX coordinator since Nov. 2014, resigned earlier this month, telling CBS This Morning that Baylor officials undermined her efforts investigating sexual assault complaints and that Baylor was more concerned with its brand than protecting students.
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights opened a Title IX investigation at Baylor last week.