AUSTIN, Texas – The former athletic director of Baylor University claims that directors schemed to make black football players scapegoats for a decades-long problem of sexual violence in the country’s largest Baptist school, and that he resigned, instead of part of a massive cover-up.
Ian McCaw said he was “disgusted” by the racism and the “fake” research document that Baylor issued in 2016 that level findings against the football program, according to excerpts from his June 19 deposition. He also testified that he eventually resigned because he ” did not want to be part of what Enron cover-up scheme.”
The fragments are displayed in the documents filed Wednesday by lawyers representing 10 women who complain Baylor about how it handled their allegations of sexual abuse. McCaw, who is white, had been summoned to testify as part of the lawsuit.
Baylor was engulfed in a sexual abuse scandal surrounding the football team in 2016, ultimately resulting in the firing of football coach Art Briles and the degradation of the university president, Ken Starr . McCaw was also disciplined by the school and on probation. He resigned a few days later.
Baylor has already settled several other lawsuits from women who said that their reports of sexual assault were mishandled or ignored.
McCaw is the complete dismissal of the pending lawsuit is still in seal. The extracts from his testimony are included in an application to a federal judge to force Baylor to produce documents that the school has withheld, citing the privacy of students.
Baylor issued a statement Wednesday that did not specifically contradict with McCaw to the allegations, but said that many of the “selectively quoted” testimony in the motion was “based on speculation, rumors and even in the media.”
“Plaintiffs’ counsel have grossly mischaracterized the facts to promote a misleading story in an attempt to distract the attention from the actual facts of the case pending before the court,” the school said. “Baylor has complied and will continue to comply with all the rules of the court in this case.”
McCaw is now the athletic director at Liberty University in Virginia, where a school spokesman said McCaw would not comment further.
But in the Wednesday court filing, the plaintiffs lawyers said McCaw is not trying “to hide his own responsibility, and readily admitted that the athletic department was not blameless.” The filing does not address claims made by Baylor officials that McCaw did not tell campus researchers of an alleged sexual assault of a volleyball player.
Baylor hired a law firm in 2015 to assess how the school handled sexual assault claims after some incidents with football players. Then, in May 2016, the school issued a 13-page “findings of fact”, focusing on the most troubling findings on a football program that was portrayed as acting like it was above the rules. The document has also been suggested that some employees involved in research and witnesses.
Baylor officials have said that the research shows that 17 of the women reported incidents of sexual and domestic violence, with 19 Baylor football players since 2011, including a number of cases that involved gang raped.
Briles, who was paid $15 million by Baylor to settle his contract after his dismissal as head football coach, has insisted he had no regard to the reports of attacks by the players. He said that he encouraged the alleged victims to the police.
In his statement, McCaw also testified that the ex-Baylor police chief Jim Doak had “discouraged reporting, and systematically buried rape reports”, and hid the reports from him when they involved Baylor athletes, according to the Wednesday court filing. McCaw said a recording of a sexual assault call turned out to be a police coordinator put the woman on hold so he could order a meal.
Baylor’s former interim president, David Garland, also testified during a deposition last year, said Doak, the department discouraged victims from reporting sexual assaults. Doak resigned in 2013.
McCaw said a former Baylor official told him that “as Chief Doak was still here, we would not fire on him. We would have to execute him.”
Doak not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment Wednesday from The Associated Press.
McCaw said the law firm that conducted the university’s review, Pepper Hamilton, advised him there would be three possible outcomes to their report: a detailed document, a summary or a means “to whitewash the whole thing.” McCaw said a Baylor regent, J. Gray, Cary, finally decided to write a “false” and “misleading” finding of fact ” skewed to the football program look bad and cover the entire campus shortcomings.”
Briles’ attorney, Ernest Cannon, said McCaw’s testimony confirms what Briles “has been trying to say from the first day: Baylor had a campus-wide problem. It was not unique to the athletic department. They hired a law firm, told them what they wanted to close it, and put it out on coach Briles.”
“Unfortunately for the coach, Baylor needs two things: A bus and someone to throw under the” Cannon said.