The attorney for a former Baylor women’s soccer player has confirmed to multiple media outlets that has client has reached a settlement with Baylor University.
In August of this year, former Bears football player Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of sexually assaulting the victim in October of 2013 following BU’s Homecoming win over Iowa State. Ukwuachu was listed on the roster as a member of the football program at the time, even as he never played a down for the Bears.
Terms of the settlement were not divulged by the victim’s attorney, prominent Title IX lawyer Jon Clune.
“All I can say is that the matter has been satisfactorily resolved,” Clune told the Dallas Morning News.
The Morning News added that no lawsuit was filed in connection to the case, although that was the direction the situation was headed prior to the settlement.
Ukwuachu transferred to Baylor in May of 2013 after being dismissed by Boise State, ultimately being found guilty of committing a rape just five months after getting on campus. It surfaced during the rape trial that, while at Boise, Ukwuachu was involved in at least one episode of violence involving his then-girlfriend, which some have surmised triggered his dismissal by BSU.
BU head coach Art Briles claimed that his then-counterpart at Boise, Chris Petersen, “did not disclose that there had been violence toward women, but he did tell me of a rocky relationship with his girlfriend which contributed to his depression.” Petersen countered that, in the phone conversation described by the BU head coach, he “thoroughly apprised Coach Briles of the circumstances surrounding Sam’s disciplinary record and dismissal.”
Petersen’s statement never mentioned specifically whether or not violence was discussed between the two coaches; in fact, Boise released a statement in the aftermath of the dispute that “Ukwuachu’s dismissal from the Boise State football team had nothing to do with accusations of any sexual assaults or with accusations that he physically assaulted any women.” Because of the speculation surrounding Ukwuachu, then-Florida head coach Will Muschamp reportedly “wouldn’t touch” the talented defensive lineman after his dismissal by the Broncos.
Despite the allegations of sexual assault and a police investigation into them, BU defensive coordinator Phil Bennett sounded very confident this past June that, for whatever reason, the end would be eligible to play for the Bears in 2015.
“Ukwuachu is a guy we’re expecting to be back,” Phil Bennett said of the former Freshman All-American. “We expect him to be eligible in July. That gives us probably five or six guys we can play at end.”
Two months later, Ukwuachu was convicted of sexual assault.
Baylor has been roundly criticized for their handling of the situation in general and Ukwuachu specifically, which likely triggered a settlement that avoided a Title IX lawsuit by the victim. A federal Title IX investigation, however, is another matter entirely.