A timeline of the Baylor sexual assault scandal
On Thursday Baylor released the findings of an external review into the university’s handling of sexual assault cases. As part of the findings, the school fired head football coach Art Briles after eight seasons and announced further discipline for university president Ken Starr and athletic director Ian McCaw, among others.
A number of key incidents ultimately led to the downfall of Briles and Baylor as a whole. SI.com offers a timeline of the reports and allegations that came to define the last few months in Waco.
August 17-20, 2015
Texas Monthly and Deadspin both report Baylor defensive end Sam Ukwuachu had been indicted on June 25, 2014, on two counts of sexual assault against a female Baylor student athlete. The charges had not been mentioned publicly by Baylor officials, but Ukwauchu had still been allowed to participate in certain team activities following the indictment. The reports also allege that Ukwuachu had transferred to Baylor from Boise State in 2013 after being kicked off the Broncos team for a previous incident of violence against a female student. Furthermore, the reports alleged Briles was aware of the circumstances surrounding Ukwuachu’s departure from Boise State.
August 21, 2015
Ukuwachu is found guilty of sexual assault by a Texas court. Ukwuachu is sentenced to 180 days in county jail, 10 years of felony probation and 400 hours of community service. Ukwuachu is ordered to register as a sex offender. The following October he is denied Ukwuachu a new trial.
Following Ukwuachu’s conviction, Baylor’s Board of Regents announces the hiring of Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton to “conduct a thorough and independent external investigation into the university’s handling of cases of alleged sexual violence.”
ESPN’s Outside the Lines reports several instances in which Baylor “either failed to investigate, or adequately investigate, allegations of sexual violence.” School officials at times “did not provide support to those who reported assaults.” In one instance, Baylor took more than three years to comply with a federal directive to hire a full-time Title IX coordinator, receiving the directive in April 2011 and not hiring a coordinator until fall 2014.
April 13, 2016
Former Baylor All-America defensive end Shawn Oakman is arrested on charges of sexual assault. A Baylor graduate student told police that Oakman "forcibly removed" her clothes and then forced her into his bed before sexually assaulting her earlier that month. According to a Rivals.com report, Oakman had previously been accused of assaulting an ex-girlfriend in 2013. The alleged victim declined to press charges and Oakman was not disciplined by Baylor, per the report.
April 14, 2016
ESPN’s Outside the Lines reports Baylor took two years to investigate a sexual assault report made against two football players. That lag in response time clashed with federal law, which requires schools to immediately address allegations of sexual violence involving students. According to police reports, the Waco Police Department informed Baylor officials about an incident involving football players Tre'Von Armstead and Shamycheal Chatman in 2013. But documents and interviews revealed Baylor did not begin looking into the allegations until September 2015. Neither Armstead nor Chatman was charged with a crime.
May 13, 2016
Baylor announces it has received the full report from Pepper Hamilton’s investigation, adding that the Board of Regents “will carefully consider the information provided in the briefing and determine how to decisively act upon Pepper Hamilton’s findings and recommendations.”
May 18, 2016
The Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas, reports Baylor’s Board of Regents is expected to retain football coach Art Briles, but his firing is being considered “as the final solution” to the scandal.
May 19, 2016
ESPN’s Outside the Lines reports largely unknown “allegations of sexual assault, domestic violence and other acts of violence involving several Baylor football players.” The report alleges some Baylor officials knew about the incidents but “most players did not miss playing time for disciplinary reasons.” One alleged victim told Outside the Lines she had never been contacted by Pepper Hamilton during its investigation. The report also alleges a potential cover-up by the Waco Police Department.
May 24, 2016
Chip Brown of Horns Digest reports Baylor’s Board of Regents has decided to remove Ken Starr as university president and chancellor after six years and offer him a position in Baylor’s law school.
May 26, 2016
Baylor releases the findings from Pepper Hamilton’s external review of the school’s Title IX response processes. As part of the findings, Baylor announces Briles has been “suspended indefinitely with intent to terminate” after eight seasons as head football coach. The university also removed Starr as university president and said athletic director Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and placed on probation. “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,” said Richard Willis, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents.