Baylor Avoids NCAA Punishment For Sexual Assault Scandal

Baylor gets probation, based on recruiting violations, but NCAA’s lack of rules about sexual assault limit its own enforcement power.

By Terri LangfordAugust 12, 2021 6:48 am, , ,

he NCAA has placed Baylor University on four years probation and imposed a $5,000 fine for recruiting violations. But the Waco, Texas school will not be penalized by the NCAA for failing to report allegations of sexual assaults committed by athletes between 2010 and 2015.

That’s because the college sports regulatory body doesn’t have any rules regarding sexual assault committed by or against student athletes.

“The NCAA tells us all the time that they’re there for the student athletes to make sure that their experience in college is the best that it can possibly be,” said Jessica Luther, the Austin-based journalist who broke the story about the Baylor scandal nearly six years ago. “And then at the same time, it’s very clear that they don’t seem to care at all about the issue of sexual violence.”

It’s the latest move by the National Collegiate Athletic Association that sidesteps sexual violence committed by or suffered by college athletes.

“They tried to punish Penn State back around the Sandusky scandal,” Luther pointed out, referring the sexual abuse of boys by former Penn State defensive coordinator Gerald “Jerry” Sandusky. “They had to walk all of that back again because there were no rules. Then they couldn’t punish Michigan State.”

Luther was referring to the 2018 ruling where Michigan State was cleared of wrongdoing for failing to report abuse of female gymnasts committed by Dr. Larry Nasser, a Michigan State employee.

“They can’t punish Baylor. It’s clear that they just won’t put the work in to make a rule around this. And I think part of the conversation now is why is it like that?” Luther said.

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