Law firm for Baylor's Blanchard investigating violence claims
A law firm representing suspended Baylor football player Travon Blanchard says it is investigating a woman's allegations of violence and threats by the defensive back that led to a protective order being issued against him.
Attorney Michelle Tuegel of Waco, Texas-based Hunt & Tuegel released a statement Wednesday, a day after Baylor acknowledged Blanchard had been indefinitely suspended from all team activities.
Tuegel cautioned against a rush to judgment and says Blanchard is hopeful he will have the opportunity to ''move forward as a student and as an athlete.'' Tuegel's statement identifies the woman as Blanchard's ex-girlfriend.
Baylor said Tuesday it was notified Feb. 7 of the complaint made against Blanchard through the McLennan County District Attorney's Office and appropriate campus student-conduct process was initiated.
Baylor is facing at least six federal and state lawsuits as well as a federal civil rights investigation into claims the school and football program ignored, mishandled or tried to cover up reports of sexual or physical abuse and other criminal misdeeds across campus for years under former coach Art Briles and former school president Kenneth Starr.
Matt Rhule was hired away from Temple in December to coach the Bears. Three weeks ago, Rhule fired an assistant strength and conditioning coach who had been arrested in a prostitution sting.
The Big 12 sanctioned Baylor in February, announcing that it would indefinitely withhold 25 percent of the school's conference revenue payout until a third party determines the university and athletic department are complying with Title IX guidelines and other regulations.
Baylor was given 105 recommendations for reforming its Title IX process by Pepper Hamilton, the firm that handled the initial investigation. The nation's largest Baptist university has already implemented at least of 80 of the reforms.
Blanchard is a senior and returning starter. He was fourth on the team with 73 tackles last season.