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Baylor fires back at ex-AD's 'bizarre and blatantly false' claim of black football player scapegoating

WACO, TX – SEPTEMBER 02: A general view of play between the Northwestern State Demons and the Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Baylor vehemently disagrees with any assertion the school scapegoated black members of the football team as a way to place blame for a university-wide sexual assault scandal.

Former athletic director Ian McCaw, now the athletic director at Liberty, said in a deposition that the school “essentially scapegoated” black football players while investigating how the school handled claims of sexual assault. Part of the reasoning, according to the deposition obtained by the Waco Tribune, was that Baylor is heavily reliant on tuition for revenue, therefore a tuition dip would lead to a revenue dip.

Statements “bizarre and blatantly false”

Baylor’s response came via a legal filing obtained by the Tribune Thursday. The proceedings are part of a suit by 10 women who say the school mishandled their claims of sexual assault.

“As specifically described in our legal response, McCaw’s unsubstantiated claims of a conspiracy by regents, racism and scapegoating at Baylor are bizarre, blatantly false, and nothing more than speculation and gossip of which he has no firsthand knowledge,” according to the statement.

“This lawsuit has become a never-ending fishing expedition based on outlandish conspiracy theories, rumors and speculation as part of a crusade to turn up any possible reason to attack Baylor,” Baylor wrote. “The question in this lawsuit is whether any of the 10 Plaintiffs were subjected to a sexually harassing education environment at Baylor in violation of Title IX, not about how the Pepper Hamilton investigation was conducted or whether Baylor should or should not have made decisions affecting Art Briles or Ian McCaw in May 2016.”

McCaw resigned in May of 2016 after he was punished for his role in the sexual assault scandal. Former coach Art Briles was fired.

School: No evidence for many of McCaw’s claims

Baylor said many of McCaw’s statements in his deposition were speculation or based on non-first-hand information and countered his comments by saying the football program was financially successful. So why would Baylor want to target it?

Numerous former Baylor football players have been accused of sexual assault and two have been convicted on sexual assault charges.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.