Ken Starr resigned as Baylor University’s chancellor on Wednesday, a week after he was removed as president of the Texas school amid a scandal over its handling of sexual assault cases involving football players.
Starr, who will continue to teach at the law school, told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” for an interview broadcast Wednesday that he didn’t know about the allegations of sexual assault involving members of Baylor’s vaunted football program until media reports first surfaced in 2015.
“I didn’t know about what was happening, but I have to, and I willingly do accept responsibility. The captain goes down with the ship,” said Starr, who gained renown as the special prosecutor who investigated then-President Bill Clinton’s affair with a White House intern. Starr had been Baylor president since 2010.
The school hired the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton to investigate the matter last year. It released its findings last week, determining that under Starr’s leadership, Baylor did little to respond to accusations of sexual assault involving football players over several years.
School regents came under fire for allowing Starr to stay on in the prominent role of chancellor for external fundraising. Starr told ESPN that he resigned the position Wednesday morning, effectively immediately, “with sorrow” and “as a matter of conscience.”
“We need to heal Baylor. … We need to put this horrible situation behind us,” Starr said.
Baylor officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The scandal has resulted in major upheaval at the nation’s largest Baptist university, which emerged from years of athletic doldrums to become one of the top football programs in the Big 12 and nationally.
The same day Baylor released its report, the regents fired head coach Art Briles and sanctioned athletic director Ian McCaw, who resigned on Monday, the same day the school hired Jim Grobe to coach the 2016 season.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Justin W says
This is an example of how government should work. If there is a problem those who were part of the problem should resign or be fired. In government the prosecutor is demonized and the wrongdoer is the victim.
Martin Edwards says
Agree with Justin.
It should be mandatory for the most senior administrators to ‘fall on their swords’ if serious damage occurs to their organisation on their watch. They often collect huge salaries on the grounds they are worth it because the organisation is large and difficult to manage. They should not continue in the event they fail to manage.