Baylor officials deny racism claim

Head coach Art Briles was fired by Baylor in 2016 as a result of a sexual asault scandal involving the Bears' football team.Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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Baylor University officials responded in court filings that former athletic director Ian McCaw’s claim that the school used black football players as scapegoats to cover up a sexual assault scandal is “blatantly false,” the Waco (Texas) Tribune Herald reported.

McCaw made the charge during a recent deposition in a lawsuit against the school that was filed two years ago by 10 women who allege Baylor mishandled their sexual assault allegations.

“This lawsuit has become a never-ending fishing expedition based on outlandish conspiracy theories, rumors and speculation as part of a crusade to turn up any possible reason to attack Baylor,” Baylor officials wrote. “The question in this lawsuit is whether any of the 10 plaintiffs were subjected to a sexually harassing education environment at Baylor in violation of Title IX.”

The school said McCaw had no personal knowledge of the matters being discussed.

The attorney for the plaintiffs, Jim Dunnam, said McCaw’s testimony is relevant because it illustrated how the university’s actions to protect its brand increased the risk for female students at the nation’s largest Baptist school.

McCaw, who is white, testified on June 19 after being subpoenaed, and excerpts from his testimony appeared in court documents filed about a week later by the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

During the deposition, McCaw said he was “disgusted” by the racism and the “phony” investigation document that Baylor issued in 2016 that leveled findings against the football program.

McCaw added that he ultimately resigned because he didn’t want to be part of a massive “cover-up scheme.”

Baylor was engulfed in a 2016 sexual assault scandal involving its football team that resulted in the firing of head coach Art Briles and the demotion of university president Ken Starr.

The university has settled several other lawsuits from women who said their reports of sexual assault were mishandled or ignored.