Baylor Head Football Coach Matt Rhule confirmed at least two players had been “separated” from the team after an investigation was launched into allegations made against them this season.
His comments came roughly a month after a media story claimed prosecutors were investigating a report of sexual assault involving football players and members of Baylor’s equestrian team.
In an interview Tuesday, Rhule said the allegations were made toward “a couple young men on the team.” He declined to discuss specific details. But, when asked if the players facing accusations had been suspended, Rhule confirmed they had been “separated from the program.”
The names of the players were not released, nor was it clear if they would rejoin the program pending the outcome of the investigation.
“I can’t get into too many of the details on this specific incident,” Rhule said. “I really don’t know too many of the details on this specific incident, but I do know things have been handled the right way.”
According to Rhule, Baylor’s football program has spent the last year trying to educate its players about proper behavior off the field – even sending out text messages to the student athletes on the weekends.
In 2017, Baylor announced it had fully implemented the 105 recommendations made by outside law firm Pepper Hamilton in the wake of the university’s sexual assault scandal. On Tuesday, Rhule confirmed Title IX training and mandatory online training were now parts of his program. And, he praised the progress Baylor has made.
“I feel like the university put those processes in place, and it’s our job to carry them out,” Rhule said. “And, from what I’ve seen, the university has carried them out and everything has been done in a way that it should be done.”
The McLennan County District Attorney’s Office said nothing had yet been presented to a grand jury and, per protocol, offered no comment about the status of any investigation into the matter.
Through a law firm representing Baylor, Channel 6 obtained a highly-redacted police report that confirmed the Baylor University Police Department took a sexual assault report at the University Parks Apartments in November. However, the report offered no other answers about what allegedly happened.
Baylor President Linda Livingstone released the below statement Tuesday evening via a university spokesperson.
"Baylor University takes any allegation of sexual assault seriously. The University’s new leadership team is unwavering in our commitment to follow our well-documented Title IX policy and procedures in regards to reporting and responding to incidents of sexual assault. The responsibility of responding to alleged incidents of sexual violence does not rest solely in the hands of any specific individual or unit. It is a University response dictated by our Title IX policy. Baylor University remains committed to providing for the safety and security of our campus community.”