Baylor has indefinitely suspended rising senior Travon Blanchard, one of the nation’s top defensive backs last season, after his girlfriend filed a protective order against him, alleging that he committed multiple acts of violence against her. It’s the latest accusation against a Bears program that has been roiled by claims that it turned a blind eye toward violence committed by its players toward women under former coach Art Briles, who was fired last year.
The school handed down Blanchard’s suspension on Feb. 7, when it was notified that the woman had filed the protective order. A judge in McLennan County, Texas, signed off on it Tuesday, and Blanchard is to have no contact with the woman and is to stay away from her apartment.
“The Baylor Athletics Department is aware of a complaint made against Travon Blanchard through the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office,” Baylor officials said in a statement Tuesday. “Immediately upon notification on February 7, the appropriate campus student-conduct process was initiated and Blanchard was suspended indefinitely from all team related activities, pending the outcome of the investigation.”
KWTX in Waco obtained a copy of an affidavit filed in support of the protective order, and it paints Blanchard as a controlling, abusive boyfriend:
“Blanchard became upset when a waiter approached the woman at a restaurant and asked whether they knew each other.”
The order also lists three other incidents. In January, the woman claims Blanchard “began tossing and shoving the applicant around the apartment, slamming her into the sofa, bed, and walls several times causing soreness in her entire body” after she received a Snapchat message from a male friend. In November, the woman says Blanchard slammed her against a car and threw her to the floor — “similar to a football tackle,” the affidavit reads — after he was upset by something she posted on Twitter. And last July 4, Blanchard “rushed the applicant, grabbed her by her wrists, began swearing and insulting her, and attempted to force himself and the applicant into her apartment” after he became upset that the woman was having fun with friends.
Police were called for the latter incident and threatened to arrest Blanchard after he continued to force the woman inside of her apartment in their presence, but no charges were filed.
The affidavit also accuses Blanchard of controlling what the woman wears, whom she talks to and what she posts on social media. Blanchard also is accused of placing “a joker card, otherwise known as the killer card, on her car” when she attempts to break up with him.
Briles was fired last year after a school-sponsored investigation estimated that 19 Baylor football players had been accused of sexual or physical assault, including four gang rapes, since 2011. A federal lawsuit filed by a woman who says she was raped by two Bears football players goes even further, alleging at least 52 rapes by more than 30 football players over a four-year period.