College athletes videotaped gang rapes they considered ‘bonding’ experiences, suit says

In this Dec. 5, 2015, file photo, Baylor helmets on shown the field after an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas.
In this Dec. 5, 2015, file photo, Baylor helmets on shown the field after an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas. The Associated Press

A new Title IX lawsuit filed against Baylor University was filed Tuesday night, according to the Waco Tribune, and it includes details of a gang rape by as many as eight football players.

The Tribune story said that the suit alleges:

... the football team had a system of hazing freshman recruits by having them bring freshman females to parties to be drugged and gang raped, “or in the words of the football players, ‘trains’ would be run on the girls.”

Considered a bonding experience by the players, according to the suit, the rapes were also photographed and videotaped, and the plaintiff confirmed that at least one 21-second videotape of two Baylor students being gang raped by football players had circulated.

According to KXXV-TV, the victim is a former Baylor volleyball player, and the incident occurred in 2012.

Phillip Ericksen of the Waco Tribune tweeted a statement from Baylor.

“The alleged incident outlined in the court filing occurred more than five years ago, and Baylor University has been in conversations with the victim’s legal counsel for many months in an attempt to reach an amicable resolution,” that statement says.

“Baylor has since initiated and structurally completed 105 wide-ranging recommendations in response to issues of sexual violence within our campus community, in addition to making changes within the university and athletics leadership and investing significantly in student support services.

“As this case proceeds, Baylor maintains its ability to present facts — as available to the University — in response to the allegations contained in the legal filing. The University’s response in no way changes Baylor’s position that any assault involving members of our campus community is reprehensible and inexcusable. Baylor remains committed to eliminating all forms of sexual and gender-based harassment and discrimination within our campus community.”

In the rush to blame Art Briles and the university, a Baylor alum says it's being forgotten that it was the athletes who violated the law and our trust.

Last year, the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, hired by Baylor to look into allegations, found that there was “institutional failures at every level.” Baylor’s board of regents removed Art Briles as football coach and demoted president Ken Starr to chancellor. He later resigned, as did athletic director Ian McCaw.

This lawsuit is the seventh Title IX suit against Baylor. Earlier this year, a suit claimed as many as 52 women were raped by football players.

In February, the Big 12 Board of Directors announced the conference would withhold 25 percent of Baylor’s conference revenue pending a satisfactory third-party review of the school’s required changes to become in compliance with league bylaws and regulations and all components of Title IX

Earlier this month, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the independent review is continuing and likely won’t be completed until after new president Linda Livingstone arrives. She starts on June 1.

Baylor replaced Briles with Temple’s Matt Rhule and McCaw with Mack Rhoades, who had been the athletic director at Missouri.

Jim Vertuno of the Associated Press reported today that the football team also staged dog fights.

The Star’s Blair Kerkhoff contributed to this story.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff