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Baylor firing football coach, re-assigning president over handling of sex assault complaints

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WACO, TX - OCTOBER 17: Head coach Art Briles of the Baylor Bears looks on as the Bears take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in the second half at McLane Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Baylor University’s board of regents says it will fire football coach Art Briles and re-assign university President Kenneth Starr in response to questions about its handling of sexual assault complaints against players.

The university said in a statement Thursday that it had suspended Briles “with intent to terminate.” Starr will leave the position of president on May 31, but the school says he will serve as chancellor.

The university also placed athletic director Ian McCaw on probation.

Baylor asked a law firm last year to conduct a review of its handling of sexual assault cases following allegations that the football program mishandled several cases of players attacking women.

The university’s statement said the review revealed “a fundamental failure.”

In a statement Thursday, the university said actions by some administrators “directly discouraged” some potential victims from coming forward, and in one case retaliated against someone who did report a sexual assault.

Board of regents chairman Richard Willis said he was “horrified by the extent of these acts of sexual violence on our campus.”