Baylor to suspend 14 baseball players after hazing incident

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WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor University will suspend 14 baseball players during the upcoming season due to a hazing incident from last year, school officials announced Friday.

The incident happened in February 2019 and officials said they became aware of it three months later. They said a full investigation took place, but did not offer details about the hazing incident, only saying alcohol and drugs were not involved.

“The university takes such matters very seriously. Our priority is to provide a safe and caring environment for all student-athletes,” said Mack Rhoades, vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics. “This type of behavior is not reflective of the mission and vision of Baylor Athletics.”

The suspensions will be staggered over three weeks, starting with the season opener on Feb. 14. Each player involved will be suspended two games apiece.

“I am very disappointed with this incident,” said Head Coach Steve Rodriguez. “We do not condone such behavior and respect the thorough investigation and decision by the university on the matter and will move forward.”

Baylor has been under public scrutiny in recent years after the nation’s largest Baptist university was accused of failing to properly investigate sexual assault allegations against members of the football team and other students. The scandal resulted in the firing of then-football coach Art Briles and the resignation of Athletic Director Ian McCaw. University president Ken Starr was demoted and then resigned.

The university has since settled several lawsuits from women who said their allegations of sexual assault by football players were mishandled or ignored.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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