On the second working day after a former Baylor football player who had transferred from Boise State was sentenced for a sexual assault conviction, Big 12 athletic directors unanimously approved a draft of a rule Tuesday that prohibits its members from accepting transfer athletes who had been disciplined by a different school for misconduct issues.
The rule is similar to the one passed by the Southeastern Conference at its annual meeting in May, which defines misconduct as sexual assault, domestic violence and other forms of sexual violence.
Whether such a rule would have prevented Sam Ukwuachu from transferring to Baylor is unclear. Ukwuachu was sentenced to 180 days in jail, 10 years of probation and 400 hours of community service. During his trail, his victim testified that Ukwuachu raped her in his apartment while she screamed “no” in November 2013.
At Boise State, Ukwuachu had been kicked off the football team after he drunkenly punched a window at a house he shared with his girlfriend and was enrolled in anger management class.
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But information on Ukwuachu sent to Baylor from Boise State’s compliance department indicated that he had not been disqualified from Boise State for disciplinary reasons and that he would have been eligible had he returned to Boise State.
Also, there is confusion about how much Baylor knew about Ukwuachu. Bears football coach Art Briles denied that he knew about Ukwuachu’s past violence. But Boise’s coach at the time, Chris Petersen, said he fully appraised Briles of the player’s background.
Baylor president Ken Starr has opened an internal inquiry into the case.
The Big 12 proposal will be advanced for refinement and consideration by the Big 12 Joint Council at a September meeting.