Aug. 24, 2015
President and Chancellor
President and Chancellor Starr - This is Chip Brown, a reporter for Scout living in Austin who covers Texas and the Big 12. I spent 10 years with The Associated Press covering news all over the state and 10 years with The Dallas Morning News covering sports and have worked as a reporter for more than 25 years.
I have been asked by my editors at Scout to write about the rape case of football player Sam Ukwuachu.
Specifically, I've been asked to find out why Baylor - and you, in particular, as a legal expert who spent millions of dollars on an intensely detailed probe that led to impeachment proceedings against a sitting president - didn't follow up more aggressively with fact-finding after a female Baylor student-athlete alleged that a Baylor football player had raped her?
According to the judge in the case last week - Baylor's internal investigation was so insufficient, the judge wouldn't even allow defense attorneys to refer to it. That insufficiency, according to prosecutors, included BU officials not inspecting the rape kit the Baylor female student-athlete submitted at a local hospital. Is that correct?
The grand jury probe and indictment of Ukwuachu in the first half of 2014 was happening as the U.S. Dept. of Education was investigating 106 colleges/universities for not properly looking into claims of violence against women on their campuses under Title IX. Punishments have included reimbursing a wronged student's tuition costs and cuts in federal funds.
Are you aware of this push being made by the Dept. of Education under Title IX to make sure campuses are taking claims of violence against women seriously?
In a situation in which you had one Baylor student-athlete making a felony criminal accusation against another - just one year after Baylor football player Tevin Elliott was convicted of two counts of sexual assault (with four other women coming forward during the trial and saying they were also raped by him) - was it not your role to either make sure BU Chief Judicial Officer Bethany McCraw followed up with meticulous effort? Or even supervise the situation yourself?
According to published reports, you are very involved in athletics and especially the incredible rise of Baylor football under coach Art Briles. If so, you had to have been aware of Ukwuachu's grand jury indictment on two counts of raping another Baylor student in June of 2014?
At that point, what involvement did you have in following up on the Ukwuachu case to see if he had violated the Student Conduct Code and if he should even be a student at Baylor any longer? Did you or Bethany McCraw or Baylor general counsel Charles Beckenhauer, at that point, look into why Ukwuachu left Boise State after a freshman All-American season?
According to Texas Monthly, Ukwuachu was allowed to remain in school at Baylor a full academic year after being indicted for rape. And he graduated in May of this year (outlasting his victim, who transferred in shame after the 2013-14 school year) - is that right?
Is it also fair to expect because the head coach of the BU women's soccer team - Marci Jobson - is married to her top assistant coach - Paul Jobson - they would be reluctant to speak out on behalf of their athlete and publicly oppose the football program, which likely pays their salaries?
Wouldn't the Jobsons probably fear being blackballed or fired by BU, resulting in complete job loss in their household?
Wouldn't it be possible athletic director Ian McCaw might have split loyalties in that situation with student-athletes in two Baylor athletics programs involved in a he-said, she-said over felony rape accusations?
That probably puts the onus on yourself, a top legal expert once considered for a U.S. Supreme Court appointment (by George H.W. Bush), to make sure everything about the rape allegations were properly vetted, right?
To make sure your campus was safe from a potential predator - especially in the wake of defensive end Tevin Elliott's conviction in 2012 after he was accused in court of being a serial rapist?
You have legally defended someone accused of sexually preying on young girls. In 2007, you joined the defense team of Palm Beach, Fla., millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of sexually molesting several underaged high school girls before paying them off. (Epstein later pled guilty to soliciting prostitutes and spent 13 months in a private wing of the Palm Beach Jail).
And you also investigated the sexual dalliances of then-president Bill Clinton in a $70 million probe laid out in graphic detail in a 445-page report that led to impeachment proceedings. If anyone was qualified to try to separate fact from fiction in the case of Ukwuachu and a female Baylor soccer player, wouldn't it be you? With the university's reputation potentially on the line because of the Elliott conviction in 2012 and the U.S. Dept. of Education Title IX probe?
As the head of the university, and with what was already on the line, was it your responsibility to talk to Art Briles about if Ukwuachu needed to remain at Baylor?
It's been my experience covering college athletics the most powerful person on a university campus is a conference-championship football coach making it rain with donor millions with a chance to win a national title.
Few, if any on campus, maybe outside of the school president and chancellor, are willing to be the voice of reason when it comes to having a hard conversation with a football coach in hot pursuit of being No. 1.
Was there a hard conversation about how, after Ukwuachu's indictment in June 2014 for raping a Baylor women's student-athlete, it might be time for Briles to recruit another pass-rusher? Briles has a daughter, and he undoubtedly respects you.
At that point, would it not have been fair to conclude Ukwuachu had violated the BU Student Conduct Code and needed to be expelled as a threat to the rest of the campus (especially after previous issues involving a rocky relationship at Boise State helped lead to his transfer to BU in the first place)?
In this case, it appears a female Baylor soccer player was left to fend for herself in more ways than one, including - according to Texas Monthly - having her scholarship cut after accusing Ukwuachu of rape and then not being found credible by anyone in a position of authority on campus. Is that accurate?
In my experience, this is a situation where the leadership at the top of the university needs to stand up and be accountable for whatever it did or did not do on behalf of a once-proud Baylor women's soccer player who came to Waco to enjoy the best years of her life and transferred out shattered, humiliated and ignored.
Is it fair to conclude her life was changed forever by adults in positions of authority who failed to take her seriously (reflected by a non-existent university investigation) and who allowed a predator to stay on campus nearly two years after a rape for which he's now been convicted?
Why should current or future Baylor students and their parents feel like this won't happen again after BU football players Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu were convicted of raping female students on campus in the past three years?
As the school president and chancellor and a legal expert who has defended a high-profile registered sex offender (Epstein), what assurances can you give them that it won't happen again?
If you place your focus on the former Baylor student victimized in this case as your daughter, and you do choose to respond, please email me back and let me know when you are available to talk.
I think those connected to the Baylor community, especially women, would appreciate hearing from you on this.