Former Baylor Title IX coordinator says school stood in her way

Baylor Title IX Coordinator resigns (1:44)

Paula Lavigne joins OTL to provide details on the woman tasked with leading Baylor's Title IX office resigning, unhappy with her role in implementing the 105 recommendations that resulted from an investigation of how the school was handling complaints. (1:44)

The former Baylor Title IX coordinator who resigned earlier this week told "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday that the university's senior leadership wouldn't allow her to fulfill her responsibilities and that the school continues to violate Title IX.

Patty Crawford, who was hired as Baylor's first full-time Title IX coordinator in 2014, abruptly resigned Monday after a failed mediation with Baylor officials. Her attorney told Outside the Lines that Crawford filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights last week about the way Baylor is handling Title IX complaints.

"I continued to work hard, and the harder I worked, the more resistance I received from senior leadership," Crawford told CBS. "That became clear that that was not something the university wanted, and in July, I made it clear and ready that I had concerns and that the university was violating Title IX, and my environment got worse."

Specifically, Crawford alleged that a group of Baylor administrators "made sure that they were protecting the brand ... instead of our students." She declined to identify the Baylor officials during the interview.

Her attorney, Rogge Dunn of Dallas, told Outside the Lines that Crawford increased reporting of sexual assaults and sexual violence by 700 percent, and although Dunn did not have specific numbers, he said Crawford handled "hundreds" of cases. In 2014, as part of Baylor's requirement to report crimes to the federal government, the school reported it had a total of four rapes involving students.

Dunn said the university's upper management gave her the conflicted message of telling her to do her job, but then indicated that, "If you weren't here, we wouldn't have all these problems."

"Baylor is more concerned about its image of a wholesome Baptist environment," Dunn said. "[It] didn't want the negative media fallout that these types of cases naturally generate when they come to light."

On Monday, Baylor said it had filled Crawford's post by promoting senior deputy coordinator Kristan Tucker, whom interim president David Garland called "a capable and experienced Title IX professional."

"I have full confidence in her ability to lead our Title IX Office," Garland said in a statement. "Kristan has been an integral part of our efforts to build a strong and responsive Title IX Office, and she serves, alongside her staff members, on implementation teams focused on the recommendations from Pepper Hamilton.

"We have made rapid progress on these recommendations, which have improved the University's processes and systems to ensure we respond effectively and compassionately when students report incidents of sexual violence and seek our help," Garland said in the statement. "We are resolutely committed to continuing our support for Kristan and her team in serving and caring for our students."

Baylor officials on Monday night released a statement announcing Crawford's resignation, and university spokeswoman Tonya Lewis told the Waco (Texas) Tribune on Tuesday that Crawford's "demand for $1 million was surprising and her request to retain book and movie rights was troubling, and we can't explain her motivation."

Dunn wouldn't confirm details of the mediation because it would be a violation of the law, but he told Outside the Lines that Crawford "never had any plans to pursue a book or movie deal."

"That's nonsense," he said. "It's a desperate move by Baylor to try to smear her, and here they violated the law once again."

ESPN has confirmed that Baylor Title IX investigator Sonya Splane has also left the university. Splane was one of two investigators working in Baylor's Title IX office, and her bio is no longer included on the department's website. She declined comment when reached by ESPN on Tuesday.

For months, Baylor has been at the center of nationwide attention over the handling of sexual assault allegations and investigations, including several that involved athletes.

In May, law firm Pepper Hamilton released a scathing report about Baylor's handling of sexual assault allegations. That report led to the demotion and then resignation of former university president and chancellor Kenneth Starr; the firing of football coach Art Briles; the suspension and then resignation of athletic director Ian McCaw; and the firings of multiple athletic department employees.

Dunn said that Crawford believed Pepper Hamilton "vindicated some of the things that she'd been saying and trying to do," but that the university's actions to implement the law firm's recommendations fell short.

"The view was that football was made to be a convenient scapegoat, and if football was thrown under the bus, they wouldn't have to deal with it anymore," Dunn said. "She's certainly not suggesting that there wasn't a problem with football or that it wasn't heinous that what was happening. But the thought that we could just fire a couple football people and clean up the football program and the problem was solved -- that's not right."

When asked whether the demotion of Starr addressed that campus-wide nature of the problem, Dunn said, "That's addressing one person at the top."

"Her position was that there was a systemic problem," involving multiple people, Dunn said.

Three federal Title IX lawsuits have been filed against Baylor. On Monday, two women who say they were sexually assaulted while attending the school joined six other women in a Title IX lawsuit against Baylor.

Despite being a private school, Baylor is required by the federal Title IX statute to investigate allegations of sexual assault and violence thoroughly and to provide security, counseling services and academic help to those who report assaults. Part of the law's goal is to help keep victims in school.

In the interview with CBS, Crawford alleged that Baylor's "senior leadership" was preventing her from adequately investigating Title IX claims. Dunn told Outside the Lines that Crawford thought that "there was definitely some intervention by senior leadership in the work that she was doing in regards to particular cases." And Dunn said the university recently hired an outside attorney to oversee Crawford's work with Title IX, depriving her of the independence needed to fairly and adequately investigate sexual assault claims.

Dunn said Crawford complained -- orally and in writing -- to Baylor officials in July and was met with retaliation, and she then filed her complaint with the U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 26. Dunn said his client also filed a complaint with the university's human resources department the next day.

Dunn told Outside the Lines that Crawford's move is unprecedented. Outside the Lines reached out to the U.S. Department of Education about Crawford's complaint but has not heard back.

"I don't know of any other time I can think of where a Title IX coordinator has filed a Title IX complaint against the institution, resigned in protest, [has] been retaliated against and spoken out," Dunn said.

Crawford said during her interview with CBS, "Was I going to remain part of the problem or be part of the problem or was I going to resign?

"I never had the authority, the resources, or the independence to do the job appropriately, which the Department of Education writes in its guidance for Title IX coordinators in universities."