Baylor president Ken Starr said Friday the school has completed its internal review of the Sam Ukwuachu rape case and that he is creating a new position at the university to oversee “all student-athlete behavior,” according to a statement released by the school.
“I am creating a unique position, housed in the Division of Athletics, that has the authority and oversight of all student-athlete behavior,” Starr said. “This officer-level position will report directly to the President and ensure our student-athletes maintain the high level of personal ethics and integrity that Baylor Nation demands. I will work directly with the Board of Regents to formulate the specific responsibilities of this position.”
Additionally, Starr said he’s directing the university to seek outside counsel to further investigate the Ukwuachu case.
“After reviewing the results of his inquiry, I am recommending that our Board of Regents retain the services of outside counsel to investigate thoroughly these matters and recommend continued improvements,” Starr said. “The Board plans to announce its selection of outside counsel early next week.”
Ukwuachu, who transferred to Baylor in 2013 after he was dismissed from Boise State due to an unspecified rules violation, was convicted last week of sexually assaulting a former Baylor soccer player in fall 2013. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail, as well as 10 years of felony probation and 400 hours of community service.
The day after Ukwuachu was convicted, coach Art Briles denied ever being aware of Ukwuachu’s alleged violent past at Boise State, which reportedly involved being abusive to a former girlfriend. Chris Petersen, the former Boise State coach now at Washington, released a statement to the contrary, saying he “thoroughly” informed Briles of the circumstances surrounding Ukwuachu’s “disciplinary record and dismissal.”
Briles issued a statement responding to Petersen that said Petersen reached out to him in spring 2013, after Ukwuachu’s dismissal from Boise State. Briles said Petersen “would never recommend a student-athlete to Baylor that he didn’t believe in” and that Petersen only disclosed Ukwuachu’s “rocky relationship with his girlfriend,” not a history of violence toward women.
Briles also said that as required for any transfer to Baylor, Boise State acknowledged that Ukwuachu “was not suspended due to any institutional disciplinary reasons.” A signed copy of Ukwuachu’s transfer paperwork obtained by ESPN confirmed that Ukwuachu was not dismissed for disciplinary reasons.
Earlier Friday, it was confirmed that the victim in the Ukwuachu case has hired prominent Title IX attorneys John Clune and Chris Ford.
- Kayla Lombardo and Mike Fiammetta