WACO, Texas (CN) — A financial aid employee claims in court that she was fired for opposing Baylor University’s refusal to reinstate a scholarship for a football player who was cleared of sexual misconduct.
According to a lawsuit she filed in Waco, Texas, federal court on Wednesday, Lyn Wheeler Kinyon was Baylor’s assistant vice president for student financial aid and was hired in December of 2014. She says she is one of only 27 people inducted into the Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrator's hall of fame.
Kinyon claims Baylor’s financial aid office had a clean audit for the 2015-16 academic year under her leadership.
“A clean audit is not something to be looked at lightly and not something accomplished by many financial aid offices,” her complaint against Baylor states.
Despite Kinyon’s success in the financial aid community, she was caught up in Baylor’s Title IX issues. Title IX is part of the Education Amendments of 1972 and prohibits sex discrimination in schools that received federal funding.
“Plaintiff was sucked into the vortex of Baylor’s Title IX controversy when XX, a Baylor football player who had not committed sexual assault, was wrongfully accused of unspecified misconduct, kicked off the football team, denied his scholarship, housing and meal allowance on May 30, 2016. He was instantly rendered homeless, without food or money on the streets of Waco,” the lawsuit states.
The accusations against the player referred to as XX sprang from his consensual sexual relations on April 12, 2016, with a woman referred to as “YY” in the lawsuit. YY made no outcry against XX and later that night had sex with one of XX’s roommates, ZZ, before ending the night with her former boyfriend, WW, according to the complaint.
YY was detained by authorities on May 9 as a result of a mental health warrant, the complaint says. During the detention she mentioned her sexual experiences on the night of April 12. On May 25, Baylor police began an investigation into her sexual activity on April 12.
The day after the investigation was launched, Baylor football coach Art Briles was fired for accusations that he did not properly handle or discipline Baylor football players accused of sexual assaults dating back to 2011. The widely publicized scandal also led to the firing of Ken Starr, Baylor’s former president and chancellor.
When XX returned to the Baylor campus on May 30 to start summer classes, the athletic department allegedly told him he was off the team. He learned the next day of the police investigation into the sexual relationship he had with YY on April 12.
He also received formal notice of a Title IX complaint against him. Reagan Ramsower, Baylor’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, was the “driving force” in the actions taken against XX, the complaint says.
Kinyon became involved when XX appealed the cancellation of his football scholarship. She was chair of a committee convened to hear the appeal on July 1.
At the hearing, however, Baylor’s reason for rescission of XX’s scholarship was now based on the claim that he had lied on his admission application for Baylor, Kinyon says.