Baylor settles Title IX lawsuits

Southern Living Magazine named Baylor one of the top 21 most beautiful college campuses in the South. Liesje Powers | Multimedia Journalist

By Kalyn Story | Staff Writer

Baylor announced in a statement on Nov. 22 settlements with two former students who reported in 2015 being gang-raped by members of the Baylor football team in 2012. One of the women also reported being assaulted by a football player in 2013 in a separate incident.

Details of the settlement were not included in the statement.

“Baylor acknowledges shortcomings in the handling of the students’ reports and believes the settlement is another step in addressing harm that has occurred,” the statement said.

The statement came from Baylor University, interim President David Garland and the women’s attorneys, John Clune and Chris Ford.

“We commend Baylor for its work with Pepper Hamilton in its effort to improve its handling of sexual assault reports,” Clune and Ford said in the statement. “We are hopeful that Baylor will take the necessary steps to implement the comprehensive reforms set forth in the Pepper Hamilton recommendations and adopted by the Board of Regents in May.”

Garland confirmed in the statement the football players implicated in the reported sexual assaults are no longer associated with the university.

“It breaks my heart that even one student would be sexually assaulted while a part of this university. I offer my sincere apologies, both personally and on behalf of the university, that we did not do more to prevent, respond to or support the care of these young women,” Garland said in the statement.

Baylor pointed out in the statement that since the time of the reported assaults, it has established a full-time Title IX office, created a specific Title IX policy and instituted a prevention and education program for all students, faculty and staff.

Former Title IX Coordinator Patty Crawford resigned in early October, claiming that Baylor did not give her the resources she needed to succeed, nor did they want her to. Kristan Tucker is now Baylor’s Title IX Coordinator.

“I continued to work hard, and the harder I worked, the more resistance I received from senior leadership,” Crawford said on “CBS This Morning” on Oct. 5. “That became clear that that was not something the university wanted, and in July, I made it clear and ready that I had concerns and that the university was violating Title IX, and my environment got worse.”

Baylor has refuted Crawford’s claims that she was not supported during her time at Baylor through a website now titled, “The Facts” previously titled “The Truth.” The website’s detailed “Patty Crawford Timeline,” outlines salary increases Crawford received, extended Title IX funding, the resignation of three Title IX investigators as a result of difficulties working with Crawford, and several correspondences between Crawford and university officials regarding support she received.

This all comes after Pepper Hamilton concluded that Baylor failed to implement Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA).

Pepper Hamilton provided Baylor with 105 recommendations. As of August, 76 of the recommendations had been completed or were ongoing, according to Tonya Lewis, director of Baylor Media Communications.