Football

The Lone Redditor Blowing Up Baylor’s Sexual Assault Crisis

One Reddit user has documented the entire history of Baylor's crisis. We spoke to him about it

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Apr 26, 2016 at 11:48 AM ET

A Redditor by the name of ken_man put together a comprehensive timeline of all the incidents of assault and rape allegedly committed by Baylor athletes, along with the University’s utter failure to deal with the mounting accusations.

In one stretch between January and April 2013 alone, no less than four football players—Shawn Oakman, Sam Ukwuachu, Tre’Von Armstead, and Myke Chatman—were accused of committing acts of sexual assault and/or domestic violence.

January 2013

  • Police were called to an incident of alleged domestic violence between Oakman and his ex-girlfriend. A written police report was filed accusing Oakman of assault, noting evidence of bruising and including an account from the victim of being thrown around the apartment. The victim declined to press charges
  • According to the report that came out today, there is evidence that Baylor was aware of the incident
  • No disciplinary actions were taken and the incident did not make it to the media

April 2013

  • Ukwuachu had an altercation with his then-girlfriend and roommates, detailed here.
  • Ukwuachu is dismissed from the Boise State team and transfers to Baylor (this is when all communications between Peterson and Briles would have occurred — the debate around which is regarding how much Peterson knew and/or disclosed)

April 2013 (Cont.)

  • Tre’Von Armstead and former practice squad player Myke Chatman are accused in a sexual assault report. Police report here.
  • Observations by officers at the scene and a rape exam at a hospital revealed bruises, a bite mark and scratches, and witnesses told police they believed they had heard, from downstairs, noises indicative of an assault. But the woman declined to press charges due to her level of intoxication, and Waco police effectively ended the investigation. The police report notes that it informed Baylor officials about the incident.
  • Police told the victim that Baylor officials had been contacted and to wait for them to contact her, but she never received a call or email from anyone at Baylor

The result of Baylor’s negligence? Oakman allegedly sexually assaulted a student in 2016 and is currently awaiting the word of a grand jury, Ukwachu was convicted of sexual assault and is serving time in the county jail, and Armstead and Chapman were never charged—after Baylor waited two years before beginning even a cursory investigation, despite the fact that they were purportedly notified by the Waco police.

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Vocativ contacted ken_man via a Reddit private message. Though he expressed a desire to remain anonymous, he described himself as a married man in in his late twenties who attended a Big 12 school and is a “massive sports fan,” which is what led to him to reading articles about the ever-mounting number of alleged crimes perpetrated by Baylor’s athletes.

“Originally from a small town in Texas that’s a lot like Waco—small, insular, single-minded, loved football more than most things in life,” he said via private message.

The response to all this from other Redditors has been fairly measured and civil, he said, though he’s heard the usual excuses: that it’s just a few “bad apples” or that the media somehow is out for blood.

As to why he spent so much time and energy to pore through all the available media reports and create this staggering document, “There are so many interconnecting events and past events that have just come to light in recent months that I felt like I needed to consolidate it to understand it all,” he said. “More importantly, though, this timeline and these stories are about not being a sports fan—focusing on the well-being of STUDENTS and WOMEN over athletes and winning.”

Which, yes. It’s not that difficult to draw a straight line between Baylor’s negligence and its prioritization of football over safety. Further, it’s easy to underestimate the size and scope of the damage Baylor athletes have wrought.

As each particular incident has made its way through the news cycle—the breaking news, commentary ranging from the thoughtful to the most scorching of hot takes, and then relatively forgotten until it happens again—it’s resulted in justified outrage. But seeing the entirety of Baylor’s failure laid out in one horrifying scroll is another thing altogether.