Texas Tech yet to comment on playing QB Jett Duffey amid 2019 Title IX case
Jett Duffey was in the middle of a 2019 Title IX case while he was standing on the sidelines at Jones AT&T Stadium, home of Texas Tech's football team.
He was with the Red Raiders on Sept. 14 for an away game against Arizona and, four days later, completed mediation with Texas Tech's Title IX office in a case where a fellow student, Chloe O'Rear, said the quarterback raped her.
Following mediation on Sept. 18, the football team traveled to Oklahoma for a Sept. 28 matchup against the Sooners.
Duffey took over in relief of third-stringer Jackson Tyner, who did not perform well in his start against Oklahoma, and became the team's No. 1 quarterback for the remainder of the 2019 season.
At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Duffey was on the active roster for the entirety of his Title IX case. There was not an announced suspension or any comment made from Texas Tech's athletic department or administration.
That remains the case today.
The only move Texas Tech made was recently deleting Duffey's 2019 player profile from its athletics website, thus removing him from last season's roster. The player profile for former quarterback Patrick Mahomes II, a Super Bowl champion for the Kansas City Chiefs, still exists.
Following the publication of this story, as of Feb. 17, Texas Tech put Duffey back on the 2019 roster.
In pursuit of a new program as a graduate transfer, Duffey was denied admission to Tulane and Central Michigan. He remains in the NCAA transfer portal.
Duffey's transfer to the Chippewas was reported Jan. 18, and it seemed he'd join second-year coach Jim McElwain's squad as a lock for the starting quarterback job. However, that changed after CMU became aware of O'Rear's Title IX complaint against Duffey from 2019, and the university decided to deny his application.
“Sometimes the worst offenders are mid-level programs that are just trying to get to that next level,” said Colorado-based attorney John Clune, who has represented women in sexual assault cases against high-profile athletes, including Kobe Bryant, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston and professional baseball player Johan Santana. “If they can just get that one player, or keep that one player on the field, they feel like that’s going to take them to the next level.”
Since the Texas Tech sexual assault case ended in mediation, neither Duffey or O'Rear were assigned "blame or responsibility." Besides going through Title IX, O'Rear also filed a report with the Lubbock Police Department, but the district attorney said charges wouldn't be pressed due to insufficient evidence.
The quarterback was "not found responsible for any misconduct," according to the document from Texas Tech's Office for Student Rights and Resolution provided by Duffey's attorney, Chuck Lanehart.
This was because the case ended in mediation and was not fully investigated.
"Jett Duffey is a talented and gifted athlete," Lanehart wrote in a text message. "He deserves a chance to continue his college playing career. It is true he was accused of Title IX allegations, and he has always maintained his innocence. Texas Tech authorities found him not responsible for the 2019 allegation. He has never faced criminal charges or been arrested in regard to these allegations."
Questions of how much the Texas Tech athletic department knew of the 2019 sexual assault against Duffey have been pointed at athletic director Kirby Hocutt and head coach Matt Wells.
To this point, nobody from Texas Tech has made a public statement.