Liberty Alumni React to Hiring of Ex-Baylor Athletic Director Accused of Overlooking Rape Allegations

(PHOTO: LIBERTY UNIVERSITY) L.U. monogram overlooking the Liberty University campus, Lynchburg, Virginia.
(PHOTO: LIBERTY UNIVERSITY)
L.U. monogram overlooking the Liberty University campus, Lynchburg, Virginia.

Students and alumni of Liberty University are upset with the school’s decision to hire former Baylor University athletic director, Ian McCaw, who became entrenched in national controversy earlier this year when he and the administration were accused of overlooking sexual assault allegations against football players.

McCaw resigned from Baylor in May after an independent report from a Pennsylvania law firm found that Baylor’s athletic department and school administration failed to adequately handle and report cases of sexual assault and domestic violence alleged against Baylor football players.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a total of 17 women reported sexual or domestic assults involving 19 Baylor football players and four allegations of gang rape.

McCaw’s resignation came after the sexual assault controversy not only led to Baylor’s head football coach Art Briles’ dismissal but also forced the Baptist school’s former President Ken Starr to be demoted to chancellor.

McCaw is named in a lawsuit filed by Jasmin Hernandez, who claims that McCaw knew that linebacker Tevin Elliot was accused numerous times of having committed sexual assault but failed to do anything to protect her before Elliot raped her in 2012.

According to The Washington Post, the lawsuit also claims that McCaw showed willful indifference toward Hernandez after the rape. In 2014, Elliott was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Considering the allegation against McCaw and the pending lawsuit, it comes as a surprise to many that another Baptist university was willing to take a chance on McCaw. On Monday, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, announced that it hired McCaw as its new athletic director.

Following the announcement, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. assured the Lynchburg News & Advance that he had done his “due diligence” by researching McCaw’s record at Baylor and said the Baylor University Board of Regents did not believe McCaw was culpable.

“I think he was a good man in a place where bad things were going on and decided to remove himself from that atmosphere,” Falwell said.

After the announcement Falwell answered questions from various reporters and explained how Liberty went about vetting McCaw. Falwell said officials from Liberty were in communication and got the opinions of officials from Baylor and its regents.

“We concluded after our investigation that Ian McCaw did not attempt to hide the sexual assault that was reported but, instead, had one of his coaches report it to judicial affairs at Baylor in 2013, in accordance with Baylor’s policies and procedures at the time,” Falwell said.

“The victim did not want the incident reported to police so judicial affairs was the only place the incident could have been reported at that time. There will be time, no doubt, for Ian and his attorneys to address questions about what happened at Baylor, but we don’t intend to litigate those facts in the press.”

Although Falwell believes McCaw is “a good man” who was merely at the wrong school at the wrong time, others in the Liberty community don’t feel the same way.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Samuel Smith