Texas Christian university demotes president for ignoring sexual assault complaints against football players

The president of a Christian university in Texas was demoted last week for having mishandled sexual assault complaints lodged against the institution's football players.

"We were horrified by the extent of these acts of sexual violence on our campus," said Richard Willis, chairman of Baylor University's Board of Regents, as quoted by The New York Times. "This investigation revealed the University's mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive, responsive and caring environment for students."

(REUTERS/MOLLY RILEY)Kenneth Starr speaks to the media after arguing a case on student free-speech rights before the Supreme Court in Washington March 19, 2007.

Baylor University stripped Kenneth W. Starr of his title as president following an investigation on accusations that the university's football athletes have committed sex crimes, to which the administration reportedly turned a blind eye. Starr will continue in the capacity as chancellor, whose position, according to a regent, is "centered around development and religious liberty." However, Starr's "operational responsibilities have been removed." He will also serve as a law school professor at Baylor.

"I join the Board of Regents and the Senior Administration of the University in expressing heartfelt contrition for the tragedy and sadness that has unfolded," Starr said in a statement. "To those victims who were not treated with the care, concern, and support they deserve, I am profoundly sorry."

The administration under Starr reportedly swept complaints under the rug, denying that any sexual violence happened at the university. He had been quoted as saying in February, "Let me be clear. Sexual violence emphatically has no place whatsoever at Baylor University."

Along with Starr, football coach Art Briles, deemed as one of the most successull college football coaches, was also fired. His program had reportedly brought the university revenue worth millions of dollars, but he apparently did not do anything despite accusations of sexual assault against some players and others having been convicted.

Crtiics surmise that the university had put a winning football team above all else, even at the expense of other students. The investigation likewise expressed that the administration had "created a cultural perception that football was above the rules."

Starr was formerly an independent counsel who had been credited to giving the report that became the basis for the impeachment of former president Bill Clinton in 1998.

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