Baylor University

Baylor University and a former financial aid staffer resolved a lawsuit in which the staffer claimed she faced retaliation for reinstating the scholarship of a former football player accused of sexual assault.

Staff photo — Rod Aydelotte, file

Baylor University and a former financial aid staffer resolved a lawsuit Tuesday in which the staffer claimed she faced retaliation for reinstating the scholarship of a former football player wrongfully accused of sexual assault.

The suit was filed in January, and the university moved to dismiss the case in March, calling the Title IX suit “a blatantly transparent attempt to take advantage of the adverse publicity surrounding Baylor and its handling of sexual assault allegations.”

Baylor and the ex-staffer reached an agreement to resolve the issue, according to the joint motion filed Tuesday afternoon.

Lyn Wheeler Kinyon was retaliated against and later fired, she claimed in the suit, after she oversaw a successful appeal process for former football player Jeremy Faulk, who transferred to Baylor in December 2015 and was accused of sexually assaulting a woman four months later.

No charges were filed, and Faulk, who was not explicitly named in Kinyon’s suit, has denied the allegation of assault.

Kinyon reinstated Faulk’s scholarship after he was dismissed from the team on May 30, 2016, she said in the lawsuit. Faulk was dismissed four days after Baylor regents fired Ken Starr as president and Art Briles as head football coach amid a sexual assault scandal.

The university has called Kinyon’s account of the situation “pure fiction.” According to Baylor’s motion, the decision to pull Faulk’s scholarship came after officials learned Faulk did not alert Baylor to a sexual harassment allegation against him made before his transfer. While at Florida Atlantic University, Faulk was accused of threatening to pull bed covers off of a naked teammate and a woman.

The accusation against Faulk made during his time at Baylor also factored into his removal from the team, according to the university’s motion. Faulk could have returned to Baylor on his full, reinstated scholarship, the university has said, and the university investigation would have resumed. Faulk tried out for the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent earlier this month.

Kinyon’s original complaint demanded almost $724,000 in damages.

Once U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman approves the Tuesday motion, Baylor will be facing six Title IX lawsuits, all filed by former students who allege the university did not properly respond to their needs after they were sexually assaulted.

The latest suit alleges a 2012 gang rape by as many as eight football players and a program culture characterized by the drugging and raping of students.

Phillip has covered higher education for the Tribune-Herald since November 2015.

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