Update: Unconfirmed reports state Ken Starr has been fired. University officials say they will not comment until an in-house inquiry is conducted. Read more from the Texas Tribune here.
According to published reports, Waco police have not been altogether open about incidents involving football players for Baylor University.
Here’s the mountain of information that’s emerged so far: there are at least eight allegations of sexual assault leveled against five football players, three other allegations of violence by Baylor players against women, one incident involving a fight at a university-sponsored frat party where six Baylor players allegedly assaulted a group of students, cases deleted from Waco’s police computer system, and incident reports locked in a supervisor’s office.
Some say Baylor’s president Ken Starr, who wrote a widely read analysis of Bill Clinton’s sex scandal for the White House called the Starr report, has been unusually low-key in addressing the growing concerns over sexual violence involving members of the football team.
David Tarrant, a Dallas Morning News investigative reporter, says Starr acted as the face of Baylor.
“When a scandal like this happens it’s obvious that he’s gonna have to bear part of the responsibility,” Tarrant says.
Tarrant says Starr benefited from the football team, which could have led to attempts to hide the allegations.
“Starr’s tenure at Baylor started in 2010, which is about the same time that the football team started getting better,” Tarrant says. “In fact, Starr has said that the success of the football team has helped showcase what Baylor is about – its Christian mission, its service.”
One of the intriguing aspects of the story, Tarrant says, is that Starr chose not to get out in front of it. Instead, he addressed the scandal through a news release.
“I don’t know if his hands are tied,” Tarrant says. “The question is, why did Baylor not deal with this early on and talk to the media, talk to the public, instead just dealing with it by press release?”
Tarrant says Starr has deep knowledge of federal law, so the other question is why these incidents and the allegations of mishandling escaped the attention of one of the country’s most famous lawyers.
“If Baylor failed to thoroughly investigate sexual assaults in these cases involved in the football team, we don’t know about other cases that might or might not have come up that don’t involve the football team,” Tarrant says.
Prepared for web by Beth Cortez-Neavel.