By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK
There must be some old figure of speech — or maybe an Aesop’s fable — that expresses the idea that certain truths go unrecognized because people fear that mentioning them will result in retaliation from powerful forces in society. But I can’t think of it at the moment. The Hans Christian Andersen story about the emperor’s new clothes comes close, but does not cover all the bases, such as what happened recently at Baylor University.
Baylor is a school affiliated with the Southern Baptist Church, with an openly stated commitment to Christian beliefs. It is also a football powerhouse. Nothing inherently incompatible about that. Catholics like to think that the University of Notre Dame can be described the same way.
But it turned out that Baylor looked the other way about its Christian identity in pursuit of athletic success. The school’s president, Ken Starr, best known for his role as leader of the three-judge panel that conducted the investigation of Bill Clinton’s lies about his extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky, was fired by the university. So was the school’s football coach. They were charged by the university with not responding appropriately to sexual assault claims made against several of Baylor’s football players, thereby “failing to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.”
The Pepper Hamilton law firm was retained by Baylor’s Board of Regents to conduct a comprehensive review on the university’s response to the accusations.
It charged the school with failing “to take appropriate action to respond to reports of sexual assault and dating violence reportedly committed by football players” and failing “to identify and maintain controls over known risks.” … Continue Reading