Baylor University Athletic Director Ian McCaw resigned Monday night following an investigation into the university's handling of sexual assault complaints against athletes.
The resignation came four days after Baylor had announced McCaw would be "sanctioned and placed on probation" in the wake of the findings by an outside law firm that some members of the football coaching staff had dealt with alleged victims of sexual assault by football players themselves – a flagrant violation of Title IX. Baylor allowed and assisted players accused of sexual assault to quietly transfer to other schools in order to continue their football careers.
The investigation found that Baylor was not adequately equipped in general to handle sexual assault complaints. Some members of the Title IX staff believed "sexual violence doesn't happen here" and were found to have victim-blamed complainants.
Baylor President Ken Starr was removed from his position, but will remain with the school as Chancellor and as a professor.
Football coach Art Briles was recommended to be fired upon the release of the investigation.
In a statement, Athletic Director McCaw said:
After much reflection and prayer, I have decided that a change in athletics department leadership is in Baylor University's best interest in order to promote the unity, healing and restoration that must occur in order to move forward. I have always sought to put the University's needs ahead of my own. My time at Baylor has been an incredible journey filled with some of the most remarkable people I have ever known. I am grateful to Baylor Nation for its support and dedication, and to all who have done so much to advance the athletics program.
McCaw has served as AD at Baylor since 2003.
The Baylor Board of Regents said:
We understand and accept this difficult decision by Ian McCaw to resign as Athletic Director and are grateful for his service to Baylor University. We also appreciate Ian's commitment and involvement in bringing a person of integrity such as Jim Grobe to the University before making this decision.
Baylor also announced Monday that former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe had been hired as interim head football coach. Grobe was named AP Coach of the Year in 2006 following Wake Forest's 11–3 season and ACC Championship.
McCaw said in a statement, shortly before his resignation:
Jim Grobe is the right leader at this time to move Baylor University and the football program forward. He has successfully led two FBS programs during his career," McCaw added. "Coach Grobe enjoys an impeccable reputation within the intercollegiate athletics community and is a man of great integrity and faith.
It is an honor for me to have the opportunity to join the Baylor football program during this important time. I am looking forward to getting to know and working with the coaches and players in the coming days, and I have great respect for Baylor as an institution and its long-standing heritage. As a coach, winning is important. At the same time, I want to assure the Baylor family that every decision we will make in this football program will be made with Baylor University, her students and our student-athletes in mind.
Lindsey Adler is a sports reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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