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Troubling Baylor accusations piling up

By The Sports Xchange
Troubling Baylor accusations piling up
Former Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook slides between Baylor Bears defenders in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas on January 1, 2015. The Spartans won 42-41. Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

Baylor is already under a microscope for its handling of sexual violence allegations involving the football program and a new report indicates more possible transgressions have mostly escaped public notice.

ESPN's Outside the Lines uncovered in an investigation details of alleged sexual assault, domestic violence and other violent acts not reported in the media and that many of the football players allegedly involved were not subject to disciplinary action or held out of games.

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In one instance, three football players were charged at an off-campus event, but Baylor and Waco police took steps to shield the report from the public. Another case remained open for four years, with police concluding that the victim had made various other previous allegations and questioned her credibility.

For months, Baylor has been under fire for its handling of similar cases pertaining to athletes. The university hired a law firm in 2015 to conduct a review of its response to sexual assaults that has yet to be completed.

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According to federal law, schools are required to address allegations of sexual assault immediately. And yet Outside the Lines in a previous investigation found apparent violations of Title IX federal law when the school failed to look into allegations of sexual violence.

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According to ESPN, the university also failed to comply to federal law requiring schools to hire a full-time Title IX coordinator until 2014.

"We are certain the actions that result from this deliberative process will yield improvements across a variety of areas that rebuild and reinforce confidence in our university," Baylor said in a statement to ESPN. "We are saddened when any student, including a student-athlete, acts in a manner inconsistent with Baylor's mission or is a victim of such behavior."

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Former defensive end Tevin Elliott was found guilty of one sexual assault after being a suspect in four similar cases and one attempted assault from 2009 to 2012. In 2013, former defensive end Sam Ukwuachu was found guilty of sexually assaulting a Baylor soccer player.

In April, former defensive end Shawn Oakman was charged with a sexual assault of a Baylor graduate student after being investigated in a 2013 case for assaulting his former girlfriend. Also last month, Baylor players Tre'Von Armstead and Shamycheal Chatman were named as suspects in a sexual assault that took place more than two years ago but never were charged.

One female student told Outside the Lines that she did not proceed with charges because she doubted the school would act punitively toward the player allegedly involved.

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"I'd seen other girls go through it and nothing ever happened to the football players," she said. "It's mind-boggling to see it continue to happen. I can't understand why. I think as long as they're catching footballs and scoring touchdowns, the school won't do anything."

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