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Former Baylor Title IX coordinator: Ian McCaw sought immunity for football players

Former Baylor Title IX coordinator Patty Crawford told Outside the Lines on Wednesday that ex-Bears athletic director Ian McCaw asked her for immunity for the school's football players when she started investigating allegations of sexual assault at the school.

Crawford, who was hired as Baylor's first full-time Title IX coordinator in 2014 before resigning last month, said she learned details of a gang rape involving Bears football players that allegedly occurred in 2012 and a dating violence allegation against another player in 2013.

"There were things in the first nine months that I noticed that were very concerning to me," Crawford told Outside the Lines. "I went directly to my boss that day and said there could be cultural issues I need to investigate. He said, 'Yes, go ahead.'"

Crawford said that Juan Alejandro, who was her supervisor and is Baylor's vice president of governance and risk and chief compliance officer, informed former Baylor board of regents chairman Richard Willis about the allegations against the players. She said she was then called to an emergency meeting with McCaw, senior vice president Reagan Ramsower and associate general counsel Chris Holmes on Feb. 4, 2015.

"I don't know anything about the athletic culture or anything," Crawford said. "Instead of [Alejandro] necessarily helping me, he went and told his boss, who then called the board of regents chairman ... and then he called Reagan Ramsower, and they called me into this emergency meeting on February 4."

During the meeting, Crawford said she told the men that she needed to investigate the gang rape allegations and the dating violence allegation against another player.

"The athletic director asked if I could give immunity to the football players that still were at the university," Crawford said. "I looked around the room and everyone had their heads down. I said, 'No, I don't know [if] they were an accomplice. I don't know if they were part of this culture."

Crawford said she refused to give the Baylor players immunity and told McCaw and the others that she didn't even have a Title IX policy in place because she had started her job only a few months earlier.

"I think it was clear that they didn't like the fact that this information had come to my attention so quickly in my tenure at the university," Crawford said.

Participants in the meeting told "60 Minutes Sports" that Crawford was not asked to give immunity to a football player or anyone else at Baylor. Rather, she was asked whether, as a matter of policy and procedure, the Title IX office could offer immunity to a football player who might have knowledge of an incident. Both Crawford and a Baylor attorney responded, "No."

McCaw, who served as Baylor's athletic director since 2003 until he resigned shortly after interim coach Jim Grobe was hired on May 30, denied Crawford's claims in a statement issued early Thursday morning.

"Ms. Crawford's statements about me in the ESPN story are false," McCaw's statement said. "In February 2015, she asked for my assistance in arranging an interview with a student-athlete regarding an incident involving his teammates. I asked whether the student-athlete was at-risk or whether he would be provided any type of immunity. A member of the General Counsel's office responded by indicating that the student-athlete would not be offered immunity. I subsequently assisted in arranging the interview."

In an open letter to Baylor alumni, students and faculty on Tuesday, interim president David E. Garland confirmed what members of the Baylor board of regents told the Wall Street Journal last week: Since 2011, there were 17 reported allegations of sexual assault or domestic violence allegedly committed by 19 football players. In 2012, there were four allegations of alleged gang rapes involving Baylor football players.

Baylor officials didn't immediately respond to a request to comment from Outside the Lines about Crawford's allegations. On Monday night, in reply to Crawford's interview with "60 Minutes Sports," the university said in a statement:

"Patty Crawford's motives for misstating the facts are patently evident to her colleagues at Baylor. Although they worked tirelessly during her tenure at the university to help her succeed, Crawford lacked the administrative skills to manage the Title IX office. Three Title IX investigators each quit within a year of being hired after reporting problems with her management style. Concerned about this high rate of turnover, the Baylor HR Department worked with Crawford on a 'development plan to better manage the influx of University resources and Title IX personnel. When that didn't work, Crawford began seeking employment elsewhere and sought to blame Baylor for her own shortcomings."

Crawford told Outside the Lines she received more than 400 reports of alleged sexual assault, rape and other incidents during the two years she worked as the university's Title IX coordinator, from July 2014 until she abruptly resigned last month.

"Baylor would never let me release the reporting numbers because they were so high and they are complex; they're not all sexual assaults or rape cases," Crawford said. "I was getting reports from the past before I even came, so it doesn't reflect necessarily this is all happening this month sort of thing."

Crawford said each of the cases she adjudicated involving a football player resulted in the player being held responsible for what was alleged. She said she heard details of additional allegations of gang rapes, too.

"It was a real culture of gang rape," Crawford said. "I never heard of such terribly explicit details. There were some other gang rape allegations, and it's very interesting when you think about athletic culture and sexual violence -- the connection between a team and violation, deep humiliation and terrible violence against women. I'm not a researcher and I'm not a Ph.D. person in violence. I think it's something that needs to be looked into and researched because why is this happening?"

On its website Tuesday evening, Baylor posted a document that countered several of Crawford's claims, including any assertion that she and her Title IX office lacked support. It noted that the university had increased her department's budget to $1.2 million, raised her salary twice and paid for a $12,000 spa retreat for her and her staff.

Crawford, who was making $123,000, said Tuesday night was the first time she'd ever seen her budget stated as $1.2 million and questioned where some of that money had been spent.

"They were using my budget to settle out previous victims," she said, giving the example of her Title IX budget being used to pay the bill for a sexual assault exam of a student five years ago. "And I think it's great they have given financial resources at a certain level but then they backed out of it at the end," she said, adding that she was admonished over the spa retreat -- which she said she felt her staff deserved -- and told she'd have to reign in her spending.

"In September, I had four meetings in one week with Reagan Ramsower and human resources, and their response to me was we are bleeding money right now because of lawsuits and settlements with victims from the past. Or bleeding money with lawyers and consultants and we are done bleeding money and you aren't going to get what you want the way you want it," she said. "I said, in a week this policy is coming into play. You're implementing it, but I don't have the infrastructure to follow it."

The document on Baylor's website also stated that three Title IX investigators resigned after expressing difficulties working with Crawford, and it notes she was put on a "development plan" to help her better manage the office.

Crawford presented a performance review from May 2016 noting that her work "significantly exceeds expectations" -- the highest of five ratings. She also showed Outside the Lines a copy of email correspondence noting that one of the investigators was fired in September for violating Title IX policy; the university's position is that she resigned.

Three Baylor football players have been indicted for sexual assault and crimes against women in the past four years. Former defensive end Shawn Oakman was indicted by a McLennan County grand jury on charges of second-degree felony sexual assault in July. Defensive ends Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu were convicted of sexual assault in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

The Journal on Friday quoted Baylor regents who detailed some of the Pepper Hamilton findings for the first time. According to the regents, in at least one case, former coach Art Briles "knew about an alleged incident and didn't alert police, the school's judicial affairs staff or the Title IX office in charge of coordinating the school's response to sexual violence."

Information from ESPN's Paula Lavigne was used in this report.