Ken Starr takes ex-Baylor official's criticism over handling of assault probes 'very seriously'

NEW YORK -- A day after Baylor's former Title IX coordinator criticized the school's senior leadership for hampering her work investigating sexual assault complaints, former university president Ken Starr had nothing but kind words for her.

"I love Patty Crawford. I think she's a great person. I'd take anything she has to say very seriously," Starr told Outside the Lines on Thursday afternoon.

Starr hired Crawford as the school's first full-time Title IX coordinator in 2014. And while Crawford did not name specific administrators, Starr said he understood that her criticism could refer to his efforts as president.

"I have to [take it seriously]. I take all criticism that is made in good faith seriously, and Patty is a very good person," he said.

Starr, who resigned as president in June after an external report criticized Baylor's handling of sexual assault complaints, addressed Columbia University law students earlier Thursday in New York. He spoke only in generalities about Baylor's well-publicized issues, saying he was prevented from speaking in detail because of the three Title IX lawsuits filed by women who said they had reported sexual assaults that the school did not address properly.

Crawford resigned Monday after declining what she says was a $1.5 million offer to stay and sign a nondisclosure agreement. She posted a lengthy, blistering statement on Facebook on Thursday -- it was later unavailable -- saying the university has tried to intimidate and discredit her.

"So they've lied and they will mostly likely continue to lie. The tactic to discredit me, scare me, hurt me...it will work for a portion of the public and I get that. But, I'm pretty sure it's a tactic to DISTRACT all of us from what this is really about. It's not about me, or my job, it's about discrimination...it's about BAYLOR. It's about a handful PEOPLE that actually run Baylor that hate that the work of the Title IX Office (not me, but the amazing team collectively making change) was EFFECTIVE. And that goes against a lot of the long-standing grain of the Baylor-way...and it's costing them MONEY. Two of their favorite things..the Baylor way and money."

In an interview with "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday, Crawford also said, "I never had the authority, the resources or the independence to do the job appropriately."

Crawford's attorney told Outside the Lines that she filed a Title IX complaint against the school last week as a result of what she said was retaliation by university administrators. "The harder I worked," she told CBS, "the more resistance I received from senior leadership. 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."

Starr was demoted and later resigned after an investigation by the law firm Pepper Hamilton concluded there were, "Institutional failures at every level of Baylor's administration" in response to sexual assault complaints.

Starr said Thursday, "I just respectfully disagree with the conclusions they made as to 'fundamental failure.' I'm not criticizing anyone; I just respectfully disagree."

ESPN's Paula Lavigne and William Weinbaum contributed to this report.