Ex-Baylor AD: Regents conspired to ‘scapegoat’ black players

Former Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw alleges the school’s regents employed an elaborate plan that “essentially scapegoated black football players and the football program for being responsible for what was a decades-long, university-wide sexual assault scandal,” according to a motion filed in a Title IX lawsuit Wednesday.The motion included portions of a June 19 deposition of McCaw by attorneys who represent 10 plaintiffs in the Title IX lawsuit. In the deposition, McCaw said the school’s overarching leaders — with help from lawyers and public-relations staff members — conspired to cover up mistakes by the school, including some by the regents themselves, and place blame primarily on the football program and other athletic programs.On May 26, 2016, a 13-page report was released by the school, detailing a nine-month investigation by the law firm Pepper Hamilton into how the school responded to sexual assault complaints. Former head football coach Art Briles was fired in the wake of the report, and former president Kenneth Starr was demoted before resigning. McCaw was sanctioned and placed on probation.According to the motion, McCaw’s resignation four days after the report was released was a result of how the regents were handling the situation.”Although urged to remain, McCaw refused to continue on as Baylor Athletic Director because he, ‘was disgusted at that point with the regents, the racism, the phony finding of fact’ and because he ‘did not want to be part of some Enron cover-up scheme,'” the motion reads.In the deposition, McCaw, now Liberty University’s athletic director, said the conspiracy to blame the Baylor football program was intended to avoid the scrutiny landing upon the school.”It’s bad for business … It’s bad for Baylor’s brand, bad for admission, bad for tuition revenue,” McCaw said, according to the motion. “And obviously you know Baylor is heavily reliant — it does not have a large endowment, so it’s heavily reliant on tuition revenue. So if there’s a dip in admissions, a dip in tuition revenue, that severely affects the university.”The school released a statement Wednesday disputing McCaw’s account. It reads: “The plaintiffs’ counsel have grossly mischaracterized facts to promote a misleading narrative in an effort to deflect attention away from the actual facts of the case pending before the court. Baylor has complied and will continue to comply with all court rules in this case. We will maintain our diligent efforts to keep discovery focused on this specific case while steadfastly protecting the privacy of our students and their records that are uninvolved in this matter. As permitted by the court’s rules, Baylor will be filing a written response to the plaintiffs’ motion.””Much of the testimony of Mr. McCaw that is selectively quoted in the motion is based on speculation, hearsay and even media reports,” the statement added.