The King’s Pass is among the most corrosive of the many unethical rationalizations. Also known as “The Star Syndrome,” this conduct and this sensibility rots organizations, large and small, public and private. It destroys trust and undermines loyalty and performance. The rationalization, which essentially holds that the enforcement of laws, rules and policies should be withheld against the most powerful, the most popular, the most accomplished and the most productive members of an organization on the theory that they are too valuable to lose, is essentially un-American, defying the national principle that all are created equal, and that the laws apply with equal force to everyone, large and small. The King’s Pass isn’t driven by ethics, but by non-ethical considerations overcoming ethics. An organization that jettisons a star will often suffer itself. Management may be criticized, and the sports team, the institution, company, government agency—or nation— that loses its star might suffer substantially with the removal of a significant asset. Yet not insisting on accountability from a misbehaving or even corrupt “star” will have far worse consequences over time.
Sam Ukwuachu, a former freshman All-American at Boise State University before transferring to play football at Baylor University, was convicted this week of sexually assaulting a former Baylor soccer player in 2013. Jurors in Waco’s 54th State District Court found the 22-year-old Baylor defensive end guilty of one count of sexual assault, but it was the revelation of Baylor’s cover-up that ought to resonate.
Ukwuachu is a serial sexual assaulter. Ukwuachu’s former girlfriend at Boise State testified at the trial that he punched her in the head several times, choked her, physically restrained her from leaving and had a violent temper. His victim at Baylor, who is now 20 and playing soccer at another Texas university, testified that she went with him to his apartment following a Baylor homecoming party and he sexually assaulted her in the bedroom of his South Waco apartment.She screamed and yelled “no” constantly during the assault but he sexually assaulted her anyway, telling her later that she hadn’t been raped.
She disagreed, and reported the assault. The nurse who performed the rape examination saw signs of forced sexual contact.
Baylor’s investigation of the incident was perfunctory at best. Associate Dean Bethany McCraw, the Baylor dean responsible for student discipline, testified that she did not review the nurse’s report or look at Boise State disciplinary records before making her determination in the case. Yet she determined “by a preponderance of the evidence that there was not enough evidence to move forward.”
This, interestingly, is often the result when all of the relevant evidence isn’t sought or examined. The main factor in rejecting the rape allegation appears to be that Ukwuachu passed a lie detector test. Based on his testimony this seems plausible, as he may have really not believed that he was doing anything wrong, having a warped idea of what rape is to begin with. Baylor, meanwhile, had a powerful motive to find him innocent: money. He was a star football player at a Texas University with a big time football program. His victim, in contrast, was just a student. Until she transferred, she had to avoid her rapist on campus, sometimes dropping classes so that she wouldn’t be in the same room with him.
It took two years for the case to get to the district attorney’s office; until he was indicted, Baylor had cleared Ukwuachu to play in NCAA contests. Go Baylor! Keep those alumni contributions coming!
After Ukwuachu’s conviction, which could send him to prison for 20 years, Baylor released a statement that said the university is committed to “maintaining a safe and caring community”:
“Acts of sexual violence contradict every value Baylor University upholds as a caring Christian community. In recent years we have joined university efforts nationally to prevent campus violence against women and sexual assault, to actively support survivors of sexual assault with compassion and care, and to take action against perpetrators.”
(Unless, of course, they are star athletes.)
This was the King’s Pass in all of its corrupting ugliness. Here was a real rapist getting the whitewash treatment, while on other college campuses—and for all I know, Baylor too— that same “preponderance of the evidence” standard dictated by Obama’s Department of Education is being employed to punish and stigmatize male students for what they reasonably thought was consensual sex but did not receive an express “yes.” (Baylor’s star rapist, in contrast, got an express “No!”)
If you want to see The King’s Pass being championed on a grand scale, look not further than—surprise!—Hillary Clinton, though she is just the latest and most visible example in an administration that has championed that rationalization. We know that the State Department was aware from the beginning that its Secretary wasn’t using sanctioned and secure electronic communications devices. We know that the administration didn’t follow through on its policy of acquiring and archiving all e-mails from a departing executive until the House committee investigating the Benghazi fiasco asked for Clinton’s messages. We know that other, lesser State officials and employees have been punished and even prosecuted for the “mishandling” of classified information far less egregious than what Clinton did—intentionally, for her own reasons. We know that yesterday a federal judge made it clear that there was no “gray area” here: Clinton violated government policy.
And we know that Hillary and her defenders have said and keep saying that she “did nothing wrong,” because by tradition the King, or in this case the Queen, can do no wrong. The problem is those awful Republicans, who refuse to recognize her legitimacy as royalty, and thus her due immunity from law, policy, standards, and ethics —and of course accountability and consequences—that The King’s Pass bestows.
Doing this on a national scale and so visibly injects The King’s Pass into the culture of many institutions, and the nation itself. One result is that rapists go free.
27 thoughts on “Baylor, The Rapist, And The King’s Pass”
It aggravates me to no end that universities are participating in ‘rape tribunals’. The university has no business investigating a rape case. This is a felony. They have no forensic facilities, no prison, no chain of custody procedure for collecting evidence. There is no reason they should investigate anything at all. This isn’t something they should have ‘forwarded’ to the police. She should have gone to the police immediately. She is lucky she had evidence collected immediately and they didn’t wait a month or so.
The sad part is that this ‘decriminalization’ of rape is being driven by the Title IX adherents and the education department. In their bid to expand the definition of rape, they do a great disservice to rape victims.
Why would you claim that? Dio you not know that univerisities are run by smart people? Why, when those scandalous accusations against Jerry Sandsuky first popped up, Graham Spanier and company took a look and said nothing more here to see, move along now. Apparently, the Department of Education was so impressed with Spanier that they decided to require universities to do what Spanier did whenever rape accusations surface.
Who was that grand jury to question Spanier and company’s conclusions about Jerry Sandusky? Diud they not know that Spanier was better educated than they aere?
Universities should be obligated to refer these cases to the local police and base their policy on punishing the accused on the results of that investigation. Bruce Schneier has this saying about having members of the public evaluate security threats (the “see something, say something” campaigns): “If you outsource your security to amateurs, you get amateur security”; sounds like it should apply in these cases too.
Once a women turns 18, the school has a legal and ethical obligation to keep its mouth shut. It cannot simply refer an accusation of rape to the police, because the law presumes the alleged victim to be legally competent to file her own report.
Rape accusations, despite all the hype, carry deep stigma, and it is a victim’s choice alone whether to pursue legal charges, medical help, or any response at all. However, the school should strongly encourage such reporting to the police, and provide or refer the student to medical and psychological help.
More great news from Jack. Well that tradition of talented athletes getting away with stuff that other college students would be in trouble for goes back a long ways. In Texas and in the South football is king so those who are princes get away with a lot. As far as Hillary, she’s looking more and more like Richard III so off with her crown!
Not sure if it’s relevant, but Baylor is a Baptist University, supported in large measure by the Southern Baptist Convention.
Yes, but this is football and in Texas, football trumps all.
It certainly proves that the ethical rot has spread to just about every college in the country, whether public or private. It’s especially disturbing when a school with church sponsorship violates the most basic of its founding principles for the sake of humanism and monetary gain. The other major Christian universities in Texas are SMU and TCU. Both have recent cases of scandals to their discredit. Such schools must be challenged by their supporting congregations to either clean themselves up or forgo their sponsorship.
Come on Jack. There’s some good news here. A real rapist was arrested and convicted by a jury. A faux rapist wasn’t slimed. This is how it’s supposed to work. These sorts of problems could be solved by getting educational institutions out of the business of running minor leagues for professional sports. Nice guys don’t play football. At least not well and at high levels.
The big question is, why did not Rolling Stone not know about this case?
Keyboard! Great comment.
A private university has no more an ethical duty to punish rapists than a taco stand owner does. This is because there is no general ethical duty to police the conduct of one’s customers, which students are. (This is in sharp contrast to employees, whose conduct can be imputed onto their employers.) When it comes to customers accused of rape, businesses (like universities and taco stands)only have the ethical duty to not obstruct criminal justice.
But if a university chooses to punish rape, it must do so in an even-handed manner. Is this the case here? How has Baylor treated other such accusations?
That’s not entirely true…. maintaining and environment where accuser and accused share space probably opens the institution up to liability. If instead of a classroom this was an office building the logic carries over. What’s reasonable is to refer the case to police and make efforts to arrange the parties not to meet.
Except that students are customers, not employees, of the university.
Though the exact relationship of a football player is “student” and therefore, “customer”. You’re hard pressed to claim that football players don’t, de facto, work for the school.
“Lie detector tests” are crap at detecting lies. The university should never have used it. If they didn’t know that polygraphs are a fraud, they’re dangerously ignorant. If they did know, then they committed fraud to whitewash their star athlete.
More info here:
I would argue that it depends on the university. For instance, New York state public universities are served by State University of New York Police. Each campus has a chief, investigators, officers, etc. and they are trained and qualified to conduct investigations and, if need be, request additional assistance from outside agencies.
In addition, in recent years, some universities have decided to hire outside investigators to look into claims of sexual assault and have (often retired) judges who are hired to hear cases.
Unfortunately, far too many universities and colleges rely on antiquated models: Often a committee comprised of faculty and administrators, who ask questions of the accused and accuser and render a decision, which can then be appealed (good luck getting a different outcome). The decision typically has to do with one thing: whether the accused will be expelled or not. Not much justice if the accuser was raped and not much justice if the accused was innocent. Since you’re judicial body is made of up people who have not collected evidence, but instead rely largely on the testimony of individuals (who more often than not were drinking alcohol during the alleged sexual assault), you’re likely going to end up with a lot of upset parties. I’ve read countless stories of devastated individuals that have gone through this process (male and female, accuser and accused). Schools with this type of system can have wide variations in their operations–some involve campus security, others have “victim” counselors who help walk them through the administrative process. In a majority of cases, however, the accused isn’t offered any type of support from the administration and must rely on outside sources for legal/personal advice or counseling.
Getting back to the committees–it’s typically a volunteer position and criteria to sit on the committee varies widely from university to university. I would assume they would also be under a certain amount of oversight from an administration looking to protect its reputation. There are plenty of universities out there that work to discourage the reporting of sexual assaults because in many instances, those are reported to outside agencies and thus become negative PR for a school. I mean, who wants to be the school with the most rapes reported on campus?
Also important, but not really addressed by many colleges and universities, is that they operate largely as separate entities within communities, especially large colleges (some with 15,000 or more individuals living on campus). They also have/can have a young and often inexperienced population, parties, drinking, fraternities and sororities, high-value sports stars, etc., as well as the issues facing many communities like mental health problems and drug abuse. How in the world can any university make sure students are held accountable for their crimes if all they have is a committee who often have no experience in criminal justice?
On a side note, I have a comment on the story link about the athlete whose case was overturned; I agree that the onus should have been on the school to find him guilty instead of on him to prove himself innocent, however, finding your date barfing in the bathroom, taking her into a bedroom and having sex with her? Gross.
If, as was stated, the rape occurred off-campus in the City of Waco, the University should not have been involved in deciding any aspect of the criminal investigation. The Waco Police would bear responsibility for this investigation and the cooperation of the University in a criminal investigation is not optional.
Jim, I’m not sure it should make any difference at all. Unlike some Indian Reservations that style themselves as “sovereign nations”, Universities are not, and most do not claim to be. In my mind, at least, the University should have absolutely NOTHING to say about who such a crime is reported to or when. Girl says she was raped, local cops are involved…period.
Baylor University has its own police department, with fully state certified officers; they have their own detectives, etc. and should have handled the investigation if the crime had occurred on campus. Their officers are also sworn as sheriff’s deputies in McLennan County. Most large universities, particularly in the South, have their own fully functioning police departments. I got my start in one in 1974.
Now that, I did not know. When I was at UT, they had “campus security”…mostly rent-a-cops, but that was late 60’s early 70’s. I assume that the Baylor Police, as Sheriff’s Deputies, actually report to the Sheriff’s Department? If not, it’s still a cock-up. Rape, unsurprisingly, is still against State law.
Apparently, NFL cheerleaders get a queen’s pass.
Maybe Mr. Ukwuachu should have gone to college in Delaware.
Perhaps in addition to designated “safe” areas where students can play with Play Doh and cuddle pillows, universities could designate a “rape” area where athletes, favored professors and coaches (but definitely NOT regular guys or foreign students) can …well, you get the picture.
“The Roman Polanski Center for Unrestricted Relations”
My son was convicted of having consensual sex at 19 with a 14 year old girl who lied about her age (through an online dating service so its not “he said she said”). He got 5 years in prison and a lifetime on the registry.
A woman does not bring charges of rape against her attacker, unless she brings a civil suit. She is merely a piece of evidence in the state’s case against the accused. If she reports the rape, it is up to the prosecutor to bring charges and she testifies as evidence. I would assume if she brings it to the police, she is willing to do so. I don’t know what happens if she is not.
Technically true, but not helpful. The woman has to complain of rape: if she says it was consensual, there can be no charge. Why did you feel this was a necessary clarification? I never said she charged him with rape.