UPDATED: Art Briles suspended, athletic director on probation, Ken Starr moved to chancellor

Baylor head football coach Art Briles talks to the media during the first day of spring football drills, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Waco, Texas. The school announced Briles' dismissal Thursday. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald via AP)

Baylor head football coach Art Briles talks to the media during the first day of spring football drills, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Waco, Texas. The school announced Briles’ dismissal Thursday. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald via AP)

UPDATED: The Baylor Board of Regents announced Thursday that football coach Art Briles has been suspended, but with “an intent to terminate.”

Athletic director Ian McCaw was placed on probation and school president Ken Starr would be moved to chancellor.

RELATED: ‘Injustice’: Baylor football players tweet displeasure with Art Briles’ firing

The school said in a statement that it was “horrified” at the extent of the sexual assault charges.

“We were horrified by the extent of these acts of sexual violence on our campus. This investigation revealed the University’s mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive, responsive and caring environment for students,” said Richard Willis, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents. “The depth to which these acts occurred shocked and outraged us. Our students and their families deserve more, and we have committed our full attention to improving our processes, establishing accountability and ensuring appropriate actions are taken to support former, current and future students.”

The Pepper Hamilton report found:

“In addition to broader University failings, Pepper found specific failings within both the football program and Athletics Department leadership, including a failure to identify and respond to a pattern of sexual violence by a football player, to take action in response to reports of a sexual assault by multiple football players, and to take action in response to a report of dating violence. Pepper’s findings also reflect significant concerns about the tone and culture within Baylor’s football program as it relates to accountability for all forms of athlete misconduct.”
You can read the report here. Recommendations can be found here.
Briles, 60, earned $5.3 million in base pay last year. He was hired in 2008 to resurrect a moribund program. The Bears won the Big 12 in 2013 and were co-champions in 2014. Baylor ranked as high as second nationally last fall.

STORY IS DEVELOPING

UPDATED: There still is no official word from Baylor confirming the news that football coach Art Briles has been terminated.

But Briles’ official Twitter account was deactivated at about 11 a.m.

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EARLIER: Several outlets are reporting that Baylor has dismissed coach Art Briles and that his players have been informed.

Baylor linebacker Taylor Young is posting on social media that he will refuse to play unless the school reinstates  Briles.

 

 

EARLIER: Baylor is planning to release the findings of an independent review today that will detail how the school handled sexual assault allegations made against its players over the past five years.

 

Baylor hired the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton last September to study how it handled allegations.

As buzz grew that school president Ken Starr would be fired, the school said earlier this week that it would announce its findings by June 3.

The school has come under national scrutiny since August as allegations of sexual assault against its football players continued to surface.

Former Baylor players Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu, both defensive ends, were imprisoned after being convicted of rape. Defensive end Shawn Oakman was charged with sexual assault last month. Tight end Tre’Von Armstead was expelled from school after it determined that he had sex with a student too inebriated to give consent.

Elliott was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2014. Prosecutors said he raped five women. Ukwuachu, a transfer from Boise State who never played for Baylor, was sentenced in August to 180 days in a state jail.

Oakman, who set Baylor’s career record for sacks, was charged in April after a woman said he raped her after the two met at a Waco nightclub. He was arrested days before the NFL draft and was not selected.

Then ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” uncovered Waco police reports that detailed investigations of three more players, although charges were never filed. The players were accused of domestic assault.

The school has settled one lawsuit filed by one of the victims. A second suit was filed earlier this year by a woman who contends that the school failed to protect her.

The regents received a preliminary briefing two weeks ago about a report from Pepper Hamilton, a Philadelphia law firm the school hired last fall to conduct an independent review of how it has handled the allegations.

Last week, the Texas attorney general’s office ordered the Baylor campus police department to release certain records pertaining to its sexual assault investigations. A year ago, the Texas Legislature ordered that records from police departments of private universities across the state to be subject to public information laws.

 

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