WACO, Texas (Christian Examiner) – Baylor University's embattled athletic director has resigned in the wake of the school's mishandling of sexual assault allegations in its football program.
Ian McCaw, who was placed on probation by the school after President Kenneth Starr was demoted and head football coach Art Briles was fired last week, notified the university of his resignation from his position as vice president and athletic director May 30. He asked the school to distribute a statement to media.
"After much reflection and prayer, I have decided that a change in athletics department leadership is in Baylor University's best interest in order to promote the unity, healing and restoration that must occur to move forward. I have always sought to put the University's needs ahead of my own," McCaw said in the statement.
He added that his time at Baylor had been "an incredible journey" and he was grateful for the support of the "Baylor Nation."
McCaw's resignation comes less than 12 hours after the university announced it had hired Jim Grobe as the acting head football coach for the 2016 season. Grobe, named Associated Press Coach of the Year in 2006, was described by McCaw as "the right leader at this time to move Baylor University and the football program forward."
"Coach Grobe enjoys an impeccable reputation within the intercollegiate athletics community and is a man of integrity and faith," McCaw also said.
Grobe served an eight-year term as the chair of the American Football Coaches Association's ethics committee and was head coach at Wake Forest University from 2000-2013. He led the school to a three straight bowl games from 2006-2008, when the team's record was 28-12 (.700).
The university's Board of Regents issued an accompanying statement which said it understood and accepted "this difficult decision by Ian McCaw."
"We also appreciate Ian's commitment and involvement in bringing a person of integrity such as Jim Grobe to the University before making this decision," the regents said.
In the report of Pepper Hamilton, the law firm that investigated Baylor's handling of sexual assault cases related to its athletes, the investigation cited broad failures in the university leaders' response to allegations of misconduct when they arose. However, the report also took aim at McCaw's leadership.
"In addition to broader University failings, Pepper found specific failings within both the football program and Athletics Department leadership, including a failure to identify and respond to a pattern of sexual violence by a football player, to take action in response to reports of a sexual assault by multiple football players, and to take action in response to a report of dating violence. Pepper's findings also reflect significant concerns about the tone and culture within Baylor's football program as it relates to accountability for all forms of athlete misconduct," the report summary said.