Sam Ukwuachu’s dismissal from Boise State University was not related to any acts of violence toward women, Boise State said in a statement released Tuesday.
Ukwuachu, who transferred to the Baylor football program in May 2013, was convicted last week of sexual assault of a former Baylor soccer player in the fall of 2013. He was sentenced to 10 years of felony probation and was ordered to serve six months in county jail as a condition of his probation.
In the aftermath of that decision, questions arose over whether Baylor coach Art Briles knew of Ukwuachu’s propensity to violence prior to the player’s transfer to Baylor.
In its statement, Boise State said that it didn’t know of any such violent history by Ukwuachu.
“The incidents and factors that contributed to Sam Ukwuachu’s dismissal from the Boise State football team had nothing to do with any accusations of sexual assault or with accusations that he physically assaulted any women,” the statement read.
Boise State officials said that federal privacy laws prohibited the university from releasing the cause behind Ukwuachu’s dismissal, but that the university “never received any reports or had any knowledge of Sam Ukwuachu being involved in any accusations of sexual assault before or during his time at Boise State.”
Last Friday, Briles denied any knowledge of violence by Ukwuachu. He claimed that former Boise State coach Chris Petersen made reference only to Ukwuachu’s “rocky relationship with his girlfriend,” which led to depression.
Petersen released a statement that same day contending that he “thoroughly apprised” Briles of the player’s disciplinary record, but didn’t elaborate what acts that appraisal included.
Petersen, now the coach at Washington, declined to expand on his statement Tuesday.
Petersen spoke with reporters Tuesday for the first time since Ukwuachu was found guilty on sexual assault charges.
Petersen declined to get into further details about conversations he had with Briles when Ukwuachu transferred to Baylor after he was dismissed from the Broncos’ program.
Ukwuachu’s former girlfriend testified at trial that he had hit and choked her while they were enrolled at Boise State. In its statement Tuesday, Boise State said that it has sought a transcript of that testimony with the intention of beginning at Title IX investigation into a potentially abusive relationship among its former students.