Baylor at one time had aspirations of being the evangelical equal of Harvard University. Then it lured into big time college sports. It became successful and wealthy from it and recruited players based on their 40 yard dash time, not their character. There were rapes and cover-ups from the coaching staff.
School regents had released few details behind the investigation that led to the firing of Briles, the ouster of former President Ken Starr and the eventual resignation of athletic director Ian McCaw, who is now at Liberty University.
The lack of details drew fierce criticism from students, alumni and donors, including Bears for Leadership Reform, a group that includes several prominent Baylor donors and Briles supporters, notably Drayton McLane, whose names adorns the Baylor’s new $250 million football stadium.
The regents’ court filing Thursday said they had no choice but to reveal some of the details of what they found.
”There is no question that the Regents, after a long, self-imposed silence, had to respond with truthful statements, to correct the record in an attempt to end the widespread misinformation,” the filing said.
Some of the lawsuits against Baylor were filed by students who alleged the school ignored them or bullied them into silence. One woman who said she was attacked accused Baylor of creating a ”hunting ground for sexual predators.” Other women claim the school used its student conduct code, which prohibits drug and alcohol use and premarital sex, to pressure them into dropping claims of abuse .
The school reached settlements with two women who had not sued but reported being gang-raped by football players. It has battled others, but the lawsuit alleging more than 50 attacks by football players was a stunning escalation beyond the 17 previously acknowledged by Baylor regents.
Bears for Leadership Reform demanded more details Friday, a day after the court filing revealed detailed allegations against Briles.
”We are shocked and appalled by the information in this court filing, and the fact that the regents, with full knowledge of this information, reportedly paid Art Briles and others millions of dollars in severance is deeply troubling,” said group leader John Eddie Williams.
”Full transparency, not an ongoing dribble of select information, is what the Baylor family wants and deserves,” Williams said.
Baylor faces broader questions of possible sanctions from the NCAA or the Big 12.
NCAA and Big 12 officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday, but conference officials have previously asked Baylor for a ”full accounting” of the school’s investigation.
Baylor academics have been put on notice as well.
The Southern Association of College and Schools, a leading university-accrediting body, has said it will closely monitor Baylor in 2017 on standards for student support services, institutional control of athletics and whether the campus is a safe and secure environment.