Ex-BU official claims retaliation for reinstating player's scholarship

Jeremy Faulk. (Photo by Randy Davis)
Jeremy Faulk. (Photo by Randy Davis)(KWTX)
Published: Jan. 26, 2017 at 11:33 AM CST
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Lynn Wheeler Kinyon, a former assistant vice president for student financial aid at Baylor, who claims she was fired in retaliation for reinstating the scholarship of a junior college transfer who was kicked off the school’s football team the height of the sexual assault scandal has filed a lawsuit.

Jeremy Faulk is not named as the former player in the lawsuit, but KWTX has learned through a months-long investigation of his case that he is the student whose scholarship Kinyon reinstated.

Kinyon was fired in November, four months after leading a committee that decided to overrule Baylor’s decision in June 2016 to strip Faulk of his scholarship.

“Baylor University contends that this claim is without merit, and we will vigorously contest these inaccurate allegations. We look forward to prevailing in a court of law,” Baylor spokesman Jason Cook said Thursday.

The lawsuit suggests Baylor told Kinyon she was terminated for being unprepared for meetings and not meeting expectations, but Kinyon says she was so well respected in the financial aid community that in 2008 her colleagues inducted her into the Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Hall of Fame adding that she had a “totally clean audit for the 2015-16 academic year under her leadership.”

Kinyon says it was the Faulk case that left her without a job and that losing her job was a fear she had when deciding Faulk’s fate.

The lawsuit says the committee “mindful of Baylor’s penchant for knee-jerk reaction to events perceived to have harmed the brand, and particularly Senior Vice President Ramsower’s predilection for retaliation” asked Kinyon to get written reassurance that there would be no retaliation if they ruled in favor of Faulk.

The lawsuit says on June 3, 2016, Kinyon reached out to Doug Welch, associate general counsel at Baylor, asking for job reassurance and on June 5 he responded “while there is no written policy of Baylor not to retaliate against persons who serve on committees, general policies regarding standards of personal conduct and the code of ethics would apply here to protect the individuals who serve in such roles.”

The lawsuit claims Kinyon’s supervisor, Jennifer Carron, who started her job in the spring semester, is believed to be a “Reagan Ramsower protectorate and protégé.”

In the fall, KWTX traveled to Garden City, Kansas, to interview Faulk after he returned to the college from which he already graduated because no one else would take him.

He came to Baylor the 2016 spring semester, but in June learned that a female student had talked with police about a sexual encounter she had with him and another man.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday says that the April 12 incident was not reported until nearly a month after it happened after a female was detained on a mental health warrant and told authorities.

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, 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.

Kinyon claims that at the hearing she oversaw, Baylor officials dropped the allegation that Faulk’s Title XI issue was the reason his scholarship was stripped.

Instead, they claimed Faulk lied on his scholarship for application to Baylor by saying he had never had any disciplinary action imposed against him.

Faulk had been placed on academic probation for bad grades at his previous university, however Kinyon says that would not fall under disciplinary action, and therefore Faulk did not lie.

“Baylor apparently did not read its own definition of “disciplinary action,” the lawsuit reads.

Despite the fact Faulk’s scholarship was reinstated he was not able to remain on the football team and never returned to Baylor.

No charges were ever filed against the player and after months in limbo, Faulk learned the Title IX investigation at Baylor had also been suspended.

His attorney, Richard Tate, told KWTX despite hoping to transfer to a Division 1 University for the fall, no one would take Faulk because of his name being associated with the Baylor scandal.

He recently declared for the NFL draft.

Kinyon has also filed an age discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

WACO, Texas (KWTX)--Jeremy Faulk's case became a point of contention between the Baylor administration and the Baylor football staff back in October 2016 after sources told KWTX that a number of assistant coaches complained that the football staff was tired of taking the heat for a decision that was made by administrators.

KWTX reported at the time, the decision to kick Faulk off the team was made by the administration.

But in early October, then-Executive Associate Athletic Director Nick Joos 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, and did not require other Executive Council members nor Title IX staff involvement.

Acting head football coach Jim Grobe later called KWTX to say that statement was false.

Grobe told KWTX in the phone call that the decision to strip Faulk of his scholarship and kick him off the team was made by administrators, saying it’s his usual practice and the practice of most coaches to wait until issues are resolved before deciding whether a player “can represent the football team.”

Grobe said that while he and the athletic director decided to remove Faulk from the team temporarily during the investigation, they did not make the decision to kick him off the team and strip him of his scholarship.

Baylor has also since commented on the incident on its "The Facts" website, saying "the statement provided by Baylor was misleading."