North Texas Daily

A campus conspiracy: Sexual assault and football programs

A campus conspiracy: Sexual assault and football programs

February 13
21:36 2018

In 2016, Baylor University was sued for its role in attempting to hide the sexual assaults of its students, primarily student athletes.

The case set off an unstoppable string of events which eventually lead to the resignation of Baylor’s president, football coach and director of student athletics, Ken Starr.

The very people these students were supposed to trust betrayed them.

The story left most people in complete shock, and yet just two years later, we find history repeating itself.

Another university has been accused of attempting to hide sexual assault allegations on its campus. It is stunning just how closely the two stories mirror each other.

Both Baylor and Michigan State University attempted to deal with the sexual assault allegations within the confines of their own university systems.

As a result, both cases eventually lead to the resignation of some high-ranked officials in the two universities. Additionally, within the two campuses, the allegations seemed to be primarily centered around the school’s athletic department.

Eventually you have to ask yourself, “Why are these two stories so similar? How is it that at least two college campuses went through something seemingly identical?” Perhaps it is because there is something within the culture of American colleges — and specifically American college athletic programs — that contribute to it.

College football is a major source of American entertainment.

To many, college football games are just as important, if not more important, as professional league games. At many universities, college football teams represent the school identity and bring in tremendous amounts of revenue to the campus. For many schools, their football teams have become a nearly indispensable aspect of their university, and too often their players and the faculty connected to them are treated as such. To the dismay of some, the highest paid state employee in Texas is a football coach.

Furthermore, the highest paid state employee in most states is a football coach.

In both of the cases at MSU and Baylor, the school administration hid the actions of its football players. Both campuses attempted to keep the scandal to a minimum in hopes of protecting the university and the football team’s reputable name.

Baylor and MSU both put their football program before their students. They considered their players indispensable.

Well — despite what these schools may have thought — they are not.

No one is above the law, and as we saw at Baylor and MSU, any attempt to avoid justice will eventually be discovered.

These schools have only ended up hurting their reputations more by trying to avoid retribution.

While it is true the officials with arguably the largest hand in the conspiracies have resigned or have been fired, the issue is much larger than that:  Universities have to understand no student and no faculty member are above the law.

They have to understand they have absolutely no right to deal with these allegations internally. What these students and faculty members did was illegal, and they must answer for it. I can only hope other schools, including UNT, are paying very close attention right now and understanding this can never happen again.

Featured Image: Illustration by Austin Banzon

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Macy Jackson

Macy Jackson

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