clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

More Baylor Title IX Assault Issues Coming To Light

Baylor Gonna Baylor, Part IX

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

I'm exhausted with the topic, but there's more to this story at Baylor.  Again.

Rami Hammad had a documented history - starting in October 2015 - that was known to the Baylor coaches and administration before the most recent stalking incidents.  And must have been known to head coach Jim Grobe, who took no action on Hammad after multiple incidents, but still stood at Big 12 media days and proclaimed that Baylor "had no culture of bad behavior."  Grobe later back-pedaled that statement to mean "the current roster."

Hammad was on that roster and slated to start.

According to ESPN, Hammad had a Title IX filing from at least one other woman (in October, 2015) before the most recent felony stalking charges (July, 2016) were filed by another woman who ended up fleeing her house and the city to get away from the Bear athlete.

Baylor's administrative and coaching response was to allow Hammad to play for the rest of the season in 2015 and place him at the top of their depth chart.  Even after Hammad repeatedly broke no-contact orders with both women. Which were all documented.

The response to the October complainant echoed what several other women with assault filings spoke about in the Pepper-Hamilton report:

The only communication the woman had with Baylor after the hearing came in a Nov. 12 email from Baylor Chief Judicial Officer Bethany McCraw, the woman told Outside the Lines. The email, reviewed by Outside the Lines, stated the woman needed to start taking a certain exit from a science building to avoid coming in contact with Hammad. It also stated that if the woman needed to access any building on campus where she did not have a scheduled class, or outside of her scheduled class time, that she must email McCraw at least 24 hours ahead of time to get her approval.

Everyone is entitled to due process and campus assaults are a particularly fraught issue on all sides, ranging from absurd attempts at redefining sexual consent to outright sexual violence, but don't get lost in the weeds.  Baylor has an ongoing cultural problem and has consistently failed every basic procedural, moral and ethical test in dealing with it.

Art Briles didn't introduce a rotten athletic culture to Baylor.  He fulfilled it.  Baylor sold its soul for winning football - the institutional deceit surrounding that is just a byproduct, the blundering incompetence merely an example of how closed, narrow-minded institutions greedy for exposure naturally devolve.

Baylor never gave her a response on her complaint, even after a trial decision was made.

"I never got a result from the trial, and now I'm being told how to exit the building as if I'm the one who's being charged?" she said. "I felt like I was being punished and treated like a criminal."

She reached out to Title IX Coordinator Patty Crawford, who was out of the office that day, "and then I emailed every single person who works for Ken Starr listed on his website, and I told them I was disgusted with Baylor." She said no one responded to the email.

She said she called the Title IX office a few days later and complained about the email from McCraw to the person who answered the phone -- whose name she did not recall -- and also asked about the trial. She said she was told, "We can't disclose what happened at the trial to you."

"At that point, I was done," the woman said. "I said: 'You've ruined my first semester of college ... Please don't contact me again. This has been the worst experience of my life.'"

Baylor has already announced that only Jim Grobe will speak to the press during the 2016 season.  If he's not confronted on these issues repeatedly and asked why he'd keep a repeat offender on his football team while proclaiming all is well against the backdrop of a scandalous athletic culture, Baylor won't be the only institution failing in Texas.