Ex-Baylor player in limbo months after Title IX complaint

Jeremy Faulk. (Photo by Randy Davis)
By  | 

WACO, Texas (KWTX) Former Baylor football recruit Jeremy Faulk, who was kicked off the team at the height of the school's sexual assault scandal before the 2016 season ever started, remains uncertain about his future, even though a Title IX investigation involving him at Baylor has been suspended, and apparently will never see resolution.

The defensive tackle recently helped win the NJCAA National Championship at Garden City Community College. He was named the Defensive MVP in that game. But, according to his attorney, his brief stay at Baylor may have made him untouchable as far as major universities are concerned.

Faulk re-enrolled at Garden City, from which Baylor recruited him, after he was dismissed from the team and lost his scholarship, at least temporarily, after a report of a sexual assault that was never proved and never prosecuted.

Faulk's coach at Garden City, Jeff Sims, told KWTX that the staff had hoped Faulk would be able to transfer to another major college program, but said no one will touch him because "the name Baylor is scary to schools."

Faulk had NFL aspirations when he arrived at Baylor in January as an All-American junior college transfer.

Faulk spent the spring 2016 semester at Baylor, but in June he learned that a female student had talked with police about a sexual encounter she had with him and another man.

She didn't want to press charges, and Faulk says the sex was consensual, but Baylor's Title IX Office started to look into the case.

But before Faulk was interviewed, or even told what the specific allegation was, the administration got his name and decided to strip him of his scholarship after learning of an incident at Florida Atlantic that campus officers there later described as a dorm prank.

Faulk and a teammate had walked into another teammate's dorm room.

That teammate was under the covers, naked, with his girlfriend. Faulk and the other player teased them, saying they were going to pull the sheets off.

Police were called, but said the issue was being handled by the coaches.

Faulk's dismissal became a contentious issue for Baylor administrators and coaches, as KWTX investigated the circumstances.

A KWTX investigation revealed Faulk was kicked off the team and his scholarship was stripped just days after head football coach Art Briles was fired.

After that KWTX investigation, Baylor issued a statement saying, "The action to remove Jeremy from the football team was taken by the interim director of athletics and acting head football coach."

Days later, Coach Grobe contradicted Baylor's statement, telling KWTX the decision was made by administrators, and not by him.

Faulk's scholarship was reinstated after he appealed, arguing he was denied due process.

And this week, Faulk learned through an email from Baylor's assistant general counsel to his attorney, Richard Tate, that his Title IX case at Baylor has been indefinitely suspended.

The word was late in coming.

In fact, Baylor's Title IX policy says investigations should be completed within about 60 days, although the policy provides for extensions.

According to documents provided to KWTX, the investigation of the complaint against Faulk should have been completed in early July.

In the event the investigation takes longer, Baylor's policy says: "The University will notify the parties in writing of any extension of the timeframes for good cause and the reason for the extension."

The documents show that Faulk wasn't notified of the extension of the investigation of the complaint against him until Aug. 25.

In the Dec. 13 email advising Faulk of the dismissal, Baylor Assistant General Counsel David Alexander said: "The Title IX Office was in the process of investigating this allegation, pursuant to our policy at the time, when Mr. Faulk withdrew from Baylor. Under the circumstances of this case, it was not possible to continue the investigation, so it has been suspended," the email said.

Tate says Faulk did not withdraw, but was effectively expelled by Baylor when the school stripped him of his scholarship, leaving Faulk without a way to pay for tuition, food, housing, or even a ticket home.

The Dec. 13 email also says that there is nothing on Faulk's conduct record and he is free to re-enroll, but if he chooses to do so "the investigation would resume."

Tate told KWTX that Baylor has already "successfully imposed upon him the Title IX equivalent of the death penalty by forcing his withdrawal from school," adding that the delay in getting answers would leave him with no NCAA eligibility.

"So you have not only prevented him from rejoining the Baylor football team, your refusal to dismiss the case has prevented him from playing football at any NCAA school," Tate said.

KWTX requested Baylor police records of any incidents reported involving Faulk.

Baylor initially denied the request, citing student privacy and an open investigation.

The Texas Attorney General's office, however, required Baylor to produce the basic information requested.

Those documents show that a woman made a claim of sexual assault against Faulk on May 6, while an officer was serving an emergency mental health detention order.

While officers were speaking with the woman, she told them she was assaulted in April.

Although the alleged assault was reported to police on May 6, the documents show Baylor police did not file a report until May 25, the day before Briles was fired.

No criminal charges have ever been filed.

In a press release from the National Junior College Athletic Association about Faulk's defensive player of the year award, Faulk referenced the road back to Kansas after being dismissed from the Baylor football team and stripped of his scholarship without due process.

"When I didn't think I was going to make my goal of graduating and playing major college football, Garden City gave me an option when I thought there were none," Faulk said in the press release about his national award.

"The work ethic and faith instilled in me by my mother and structure provided for me by Garden City Community College is where I learned to never give up and never give in."