All That and a Bag of Mail

Jan 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Baylor Bears head coach Art Briles during the game against the Michigan State Spartans in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Bears 42-41. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports Jerome Miron USA TODAY Sports

It’s Friday, time for all production to cease and all of you to dive into the mailbag. 

Today I’ve simplified the mailbag with two main topics, the Baylor sexual assault trial that no one knew was happening until the past few days and the Ashley Madison hacking. Each of these stories is massive

So here we go with both, beginning with the mess at Baylor:

Brandon writes:

“Clay,

Here’s why I think the Baylor victim should sue for a billion dollars:

This isn’t the first time that Baylor has gone totally stupid in dealing with student-athlete violence. Sexual assault, teammates murdering teammates, baseball players skinning cats, etc.

Baylor is a private institution, so they don’t benefit from state protection and liability caps

Their “response” yesterday was a complete crock. It’s basically Baylor saying, “come at me, bro”

They allowed Ukwuachu, a guy with a known history of violence against women, WHO WAS KICKED OUT OF BOISE STATE FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, onto campus. And, wouldn’t you know it, within a short time of arriving on campus, he rapes another student-athlete.

After the incident was reported, not only did Baylor allow Ukwuachu to keep his scholarship and remain a part of the team, EVEN WHILE UNDER INDICTMENT, but they did everything they could to force his victim to go away. Made her change HER schedule, reduced HER scholarship (!!!!!!), until she had to transfer. This was a student-athlete, and Baylor’s athletic department did nothing to protect her, nothing to support her, nothing to ensure the safety of other female student-athletes. Hello, Title IX.

In fact, Baylor’s “investigation” and treatment of the situation was so irresponsible, insufficient, and inept, that the judge in the trial told the defense they couldn’t bring it up.

Meanwhile, Art Briles, who should have been fired yesterday, said he was completely happy with Baylor’s handling of the situation. “I like the way we’ve handled it as a university, an athletic department, and a football program.” Briles and the Baylor administration are apparently graduates of the Paterno-Fisher School of Crisis Management.

And, if the above wasn’t enough (and so much more could be said [uh, cover up?]), here’s the biggest reason I think she should sue for $1 billion:

This entire incident could have been prevented. Knowing his history and the warnings from Boise State, Baylor should never have allowed this guy on campus. But they did, because football.

So if I was this girl, or this girl’s father, I would hire Gloria Allred and sue for a billion.

Would love to hear your thoughts as a lawyer. Even if they are the thoughts of a gay Muslim racist lawyer.”

(Update: Baylor coach Art Briles denied knowing about Sam Ukwuachu’s past issues with violence this morning. But this afternoon Washington coach Chris Petersen said he called Briles and gave him all the information about Ukwuachu. So someone is clearly lying. Here’s an easy question for you, who do you believe, the coach who kicked a star player off his football team or the one who accepted that star player’s transfer and is now dealing with the fall out from his rape conviction?) 

This Baylor story is an unbelievable mess. If you haven’t read the details of the Baylor rape story, read this right now from Texas Monthly. Yesterday Sam Ukuwachu, the player Baylor hoped would play for them this fall, was convicted of rape. This is the ugliest college football story since the Jerry Sandusky mess at Penn State. Once again, the crime is awful, but Baylor’s response is just as bad.   

Let’s start with how all schools should respond to a sexual assault allegation. Because it’s really not that complicated. As soon as you hear of an sexual assault investigation, you indefinitely suspend the player pending the outcome of the investigation. If he’s never charged then you can reinstate him provided you believe that he was innocent of the charges; if he’s charged then he’s gone and will never play a sport for your school again. Yes, that’s even if he beats the charges at trial. 

How simple is this flow chart to follow for all schools? If you’re a college administrator, coach, or athletic department employee reading the mailbag today — and there are tons who do — just copy the above paragraph and apply it at your school. 

It’s not complicated.

Yes, a girl could make up a false rape allegation, but, guess what, THAT’S A CRIME! And stop with your Duke Lacrosse emails, using Duke Lacrosse as an example of false rape claims is like using a winning lottery ticket to argue for the benefits of playing the lottery as a retirement strategy. It’s a rarity.  

The Duke Lacrosse prosecutor went to jail. That is, his behavior itself was criminal. Do you know how rare it is for a prosectuor to go to jail over a rape investigation? It almost never happens. The Duke guys falsely accused of rape made tens of millions in settlement dollars. Yes, false rape allegations happen, but they are incredibly rare. 

And, get this, with today’s technology a competent investigator has access to reams of text messages — and potentially even pictures and video — of a sexual encounter. If a story is totally made up, it falls apart in a hurry. Also, the number of women that are willing to make up a rape and then go through a rape kit is minuscule. It doesn’t happen and if it does, it would be uncovered quickly. So this fear is a red herring.  

Now back to Baylor. Baylor bungled this situation so badly that they were prepared to allow Ukwuachu to play for them this fall if he wasn’t found guilty of rape beyond a reasonable doubt. Think about how crazy that is, Baylor was going to allow Ukwuachu to walk right out of the courtroom for a rape charge and suit up to play football. 

At a Christian school!

That’s mind boggling. 

If I were this girl’s parents I would sue Baylor for every cent I could possibly recover. Not necessarily for the money, but for the message I’d send. And I think this girl would win at trial because I believe Baylor is legally liable for negligent behavior and for failure to properly administer a Title IX investigation.

Here are a quick recitation of facts: the girl was an athlete who met her rapist at a school sponsored event, Baylor either knew or should have known that Ukwuachu had a violent past with women, when the girl reported her rape Baylor conducted such a piss poor Title IX investigation that the judge ridiculed it, they kept Ukwuachu on scholarship, so troubling his victim that she was forced to transfer to a new school. Baylor was 100% negligent here and, in my opinion, didn’t fulfill its Title IX obligations.

Now let’s talk about this Title IX investigation that Baylor undertook. The standard for guilt in a school investigation is the civil one, preponderance of the evidence. That means if you find it more likely that not that he raped her, he’s guilty. That’s 50 percent plus a hair in either direction. Baylor’s investigation didn’t find him responsible at all. So they found that it was more likely than not that he didn’t commit rape. That is, they believed him over her. And then he was convicted under a beyond a reasonable doubt standard of rape. So a jury of reasonable people in Waco found him 90% + liable — whatever the percentage is that overcomes “reasonable doubt” — and Baylor found him less than 50% liable for rape.

I mean, holy hell. How do you explain that gap? A jury is certain that he did it beyond a reasonable doubt and Baylor didn’t even believe it was more likely than not that he raped her. On its face that’s evidence of how woeful this “Baylor investigation” was.

To be fair, part of the issue with all Title IX investigations is that you have school employees conducting the equivalent of criminal investigations. How absurd would you think it was if a murder happened on campus and the school conducted its own investigation of the murder? That would be insane, right? You need trained professionals to investigate potential criminal acts, not people who are otherwise investigating whether or not someone improperly cited Wikipedia in a “Moby Dick” paper. So this system is flawed to begin with, you have people conducting investigations into serious crimes that have no business conducting investigations into serious crimes.  

(This is one of many reasons why I’ve said the Florida State Title IX investigation of Jameis Winston was such crap. The judge applied the preponderance of the evidence standard and said whether or not there was a rape was a completely even call, neither side was more believable than the other. The judge said it was 50% likely that Jameis Winston raped the girl and 50% likely that he didn’t. Do you know how remarkable that is, to have two completely even sides in a rape case? He listened to all the evidence and didn’t decide anything at all. He flipped a coin and it didn’t land on head or tails. Of course FSU Twitter reacted like Jameis had been vindicated. But he wasn’t vindicated at all. The best result for Jameis so far is that it’s only half likely that he raped a girl.)

I’ve been waiting for a situation like this to materialize — for someone with a violent past but a really strong sports talent to transfer to a new school and commit a violent crime on a student at the new school.

That’s what we have here.

Keep in mind, this isn’t a student with no violent history — in that case it’s hard to see how a school could be liable — this is someone who was kicked out of another school for violent acts. And if Baylor knew or reasonably should have known that this guy was kicked out of Boise State for violence against women then I think this girl wins her lawsuit against the school. And if Baylor didn’t know, isn’t that evidence of negligence on their part? If you’re admitting a guy who was kicked out of another school isn’t it incumbent upon you to know the reason he left his lat school?

A massive verdict would send an important message to college athletic departments everywhere — you can’t admit students with violent pasts and then claim it was impossible for you to predict they might act violently again in the future.

My bet is that Baylor settles this case for millions of dollars before it would ever see a courtroom. But if this girl refused to settle and wanted to send a message by taking the case to trial and attempting to hold Baylor responsible for its negligence and failures to properly apply a Title IX investigation — I think she’d win a huge verdict.

Moreover, how many people at Baylor would lose their jobs over this? Who knew what and when did they know it? Art Briles would be on the stand. So would the athletic director and the school president. This is a huge story that totally escaped all attention until this week.

I’m still blown away by it and I don’t think it’s going to fade quickly.

Put simply, Baylor’s behavior was inexusable.  

Tons of you have emailed, Tweeted and Facebooked a variety of specific questions all of which boil down to: what about the Ashley Madison hack?

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past several days 37 million Ashley Madison accounts have been publicly leaked. Ashley Madison is a site that advertises itself as a place for married people to meet others interested in having affairs. Not surprisingly, the roster of members is overwhelmingly male. It’s also a massive amount of people. Even if we assume that half of all these accounts are fake, there are only 65 million married men in the country. That would mean that somewhere around 18 million men, or over one in four of married men in the country, were signed up. 

I mean, good Lord.

It’s worth noting that Alabama, by far, spent the most per capita of any state on the site. So Alabama is officially the cheatingest state in the country.   

As the data is analyzed, public shamings of famous people who joined the site are slowly dripping out. And I feel like the only person saying this, but doesn’t this feel wrong? If I didn’t care who Bill Clinton was banging when he was president — which I didn’t — why should I care if someone with a much less serious job is trying to cheat on his or her spouse?

I’m anti-hacking and the subsequent public shaming when private information is suddenly broadcast for all to see. I haven’t seen hardly anyone taking this stance. It’s surprising to me that so many people are totally fine with everyone’s private personal data being shared publicly and then using that data to humiliate people online. Doesn’t that feel dirty, to use the results of an illegal act to embarrass people online? I felt the same way about the Sony email hack. But most people seem totally fine with this being considered news.

So I’m kind of curious, where’s the line that would be inappropriate hacking and publication of data? If a major health care company’s records were hacked and placed online would everyone rush to see what illnesses celebrities have had? Would major media companies write about those illnesses? “Look, look, (insert celebrity here) had three abortions before she was twenty!” “(Insert celebrity here) is being treated for HIV!” “Look how malignant Jimmy Carter’s cancer is!”

Doesn’t that seem unreasonable? So where’s the line? What about your personal Google searches? What if Google got hacked and everything you ever searched for online could be traced directly to you? I don’t care how honest and forthright you are, you’ve probably Googled some fucked up shit. What about your personal email being hacked and placed online? How about if your text messages were all hacked and every image and video on your phone was leaked online? Would you be fine with everyone seeing all of this? My big question here is this: Shouldn’t there still be an expectation of privacy when someone commits a crime to steal data and then publicly places it online? Why does one person’s illegal act cleanse everyone else’s interaction with that stolen data?

Think of it this way, if someone robbed a Brink’s truck and then crashed that Brink’s truck on the interstate, scattering tens of millions of dollars in cash, everyone would understand that money was stolen and that if they kept it they were stealing too. Why doesn’t the same logic apply to mass hacking of data that’s then used by media companies to make money off of stories based on the stolen data? You’re trading in illegal goods.

Now I can make a substantial distinction here for hacked news that’s actually of public interest — I’m thinking of Wikileaks or Edward Snowden — but here we’re dealing entirely with married people — mostly men — trying to have more sex in their lives. There’s no major news interest here, it’s just public shaming. Or maybe we just all have to expect that everything we do is eventually going to be public, that essentially there is no longer any expectation of privacy online at all. That we’re all public figures. 

Since I’m somewhat of a public figure I actually went through my past couple of months of credit card statements in the wake of the Ashley Madison leak — because I’m convinced that eventually all of these statements will get hacked too — to see if I had any embarrassing purchases. I was ashamed by how much we spent on worthless crap, but my family didn’t have a single embarrassing purchase. (Unless you count what we spent on a Ghostbuster firehouse on eBay.) 

So I expanded my search and tried to think of the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever bought with a credit card online from any retailer. (Also assuming that those will eventually get leaked). And I thought, “God, I am fucking boring. I haven’t even bought anything remotely embarrassing on the Internet ever.”

But how absurd would it be that if my stolen credit card info went online, that someone might write an article about what my family has bought in the past year?

Here’s another wrinkle for you, if Ashley Madison was a gay sex site for married men, would sites like Gawker publish the information on the people who were secretly pursuing gay sex? Probably not, because that would be potentially outing gay men, right? So why is it okay to write about straight men for potentially cheating on their spouses? Does it really matter what sex you’re cheating on your spouse with? Remember the huge controversy at Gawker about them outing a guy for trying to hire a gay escort. Why isn’t the ethics the same for straight men trying to have affairs?

Here’s another interesting question I had, how much unfulfilled sexual desire is there in this country right now? Because if you think about it, porn, strip clubs, prostitutes, Ashley Madison, all of it exists because the male desire for sex far exceeds the amount of available sex that the average man can have. That is, there is a much larger demand for sex than there is a supply of sex.

All of these sundry sex businesses exist to help fulfill that unfulfilled demand. The market for sex is huge. (Yes, yes, I know there are some women with sex drives similar to men, but you’re unicorns. By and large men are driving the sex industry. There’s a reason that something like 95% of Ashley Madison accounts were men. And a reason why tens of thousands of women aren’t getting arrested every year paying for sex with prostitutes. Men have much more of a demand for sex than women do.)

So my question is this — how much more sex would there have to be in the world to fulfill every man’s sex drive and eliminate the demand for prostitution, porn, and strip clubs. Those industries all exist to fill a market, right? How big is the gap between the supply of sex and the demand for sex?

And it occurred to me, I have no idea. Is 5% of the collective male sexual desire actually being fulfilled in America today? 10%? And keep in mind that America is comparatively liberal on sex. Think about the percentage of the male sex drive that’s being fulfilled in Middle Eastern countries. It’s why they’re so damn angry at us. They hate us because they ain’t us.  

Even more interesting question, is there a finite number of sex demand? Can we quantify it? Or is it infinite? Basically how much more sex would be required for every American man to agree — “I have had all the sex I can possibly manage, I don’t even want to think about sex any more. I’d never go to a strip club or a prostitute or look at porn. I am all sexed out.”

I have no idea, but I need someone much smarter than me to try and quantify this. 

Deep thoughts from the mailbag. 

Hope y’all have great weekends and thanks for reading Outkick. 

 

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.

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