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BLF Statement: Many questions remain that must be answered; full accounting must be given to Baylor family

pat-neff-hallBaylor University has decided in recent days to provide the public with more details about sexual assaults at Baylor University over the last several years. Some members of the Board of Regents have given media interviews that seem to be a part of a carefully orchestrated public relations campaign to validate their staffing decisions rather than explaining what happened directly to the Baylor Family.

Some regents chose to disclose details about the numbers of sexual assault complaints and the number of football team members accused just hours before a key road game. This appears to be a change in philosophy from Interim President David Garland’s promise that the university was committed to “protecting any details that may compromise the privacy” of the survivors and the innocent. The Baylor Line Foundation has long believed that a full accounting must be given directly to the Baylor Family, not just selected news media (no matter how credible they might be). We agree that the privacy of those who have filed complaints must be protected, but there are many unanswered questions that have nothing to do with the primary goal of protecting the survivors.

In the interest of transparency and credibility for Baylor University, especially in relation to the terminations of key leadership, details about the actions of our Board of Regents – actions that Pepper Hamilton clearly had issues with — must be made public. The Baylor Line Foundation renews its call for Baylor to return to the timeless Christian values fundamental to the university since its founding in 1845.

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13 thoughts on “BLF Statement: Many questions remain that must be answered; full accounting must be given to Baylor family”

  1. Could we get rid of the Baylor Board of Regents??? We need an eleven member board. Way too big as is and will never get things right with that many power egos.

  2. Baylor needs to be more transparent about everything that transpired in the years leading up to the firings of Ken Starr and Art Briles. However, this statement by the BLF is an embarrassment. The BLF – and rightfully so – has been calling for transparency. Baylor releases some additional information last week and now the BLF releases this statement which amounts to a conspiracy theory. The BLF should report news and facts to its members. It should not engage in speculation and postulation. In my opinion, new leadership is desperately needed at Baylor as well as the BLF.

  3. I want a say in who is elected to the Board of Regents. I don’t want a bunch of corporate bigwigs nor people high up in the Baptist church. I want regular Christians. It’s not a popularity contest, nor a reward for being rich or adept in Baptist politics.
    The BOR is self-appointed by themselves (except for the non-voting members.)
    They should be elected by the alumni & students and every member of the BOR should have a vote.

  4. Contrary to what most of you are saying, I feel it is time to identify and fix the problems, learn from the past, do the best that can be done in the present, and look forward to a better future. I’m sure there is plenty of blame to be spread among many people, including many of the Board of Regents, but to continue to find blame is not helping this issue. It is time to stop the finger pointing and trust that the Board of Regents, the interim president, faculty and staff are making every effort to make the best decisions for the University.

  5. A wise person once said, “In the end only the truth truly blesses. ” In today’s litigious climate the truth could be costly. But, as we have learned in the election of 2016, anything less will be more costly in the long run. No person or group of persons is more important than the integrity of Baylor University. Either you are a part of the problem or a part of the solution. If the problem, remove yourself. If the solution, please lead us. In times like these we need courageous and selfless leaders. I have faith in you and the mission of this great university. Now, let’s roll!

  6. The above article and all the comments, though varying, have been my clarion call since May 24 and the beginning of this nightmare. No one except the Board of Regents and Ramsower have been served by the actions taken by the board since then. (1) Timing is everything. (2) Taking advantage of someone who is trusting enough to not have an attorney present is underhanded, at the least. (3) “Contrary” says above that we need to “identify” the problems – thus the call for transparency and accountability. (4) All I have seen is that everyone except the Board of Regents and Ramsower (and maybe others I don’t know about in the Admin.) are all on the same page. Cover-up is the word of the day. Well, you can’t heal a wound without opening it up to the light, clearing out the infection and then sewing it up. A scar will be left, but it is the scar of healing and a better university, where there are not so many incidences of rape. We, as a Christian university, should be the leaders (we do have the bull pulpit right now) for “cleaning house” and then setting the house in order. You do not “flip” a house by hiding the stuff left in the house, but by cleaning it out and then giving the house a new look. I supervised/managed for many years in my career and to let an employee go required an abundance of quite detailed information – not because of laws, but from company standards, those being fair and honest, and passing the scrutiny and smell tests. I believe God will have to do a miracle for this to happen at Baylor because the Board seems to want to have a scape goat. Why did the WSJ article only mention FB players when they are 10% of the alleged assaults? We should be concerned about all people, including victims, those accused justly (should be behind bars), those accused unfairly (should be exonerated), those whose lives have been torn asunder by false and inconsistent messages from the Board (if not, then prove it). Honesty and integrity should be at the center of all these discussions. Where are those traits hiding?

    Also, I learned a lot from Ken Starr’s article in the Waco Tribune this weekend – about his time at Baylor and how the board gave him mixed signals and inconsistent messages at every turn. I learned how his integrity kept him from revealing that the real problem with Baylor and the BAA was not with the Admin., but the Board and the BAA (see a common theme here? – power corrupts, great power corrupts greatly). How refreshing to hear truth revealed – it sometimes hurts, but healing can only come about through truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so that wounds can heal.


    I am sorry to say that I was numbered among those poor misguided souls who believed that an independent voice in the governance of Baylor would not be necessary. How wrong I was and how painful it is to admit as much now. The Regents have amazingly made one ridiculous mistake after another. It appears that this most recent embarrassing move was directed by a public relations firm and designed to somehow justify the disgraced Board of Regents previous actions. Is there anyone in the Baylor family that is not completely disgusted with the Board? Worse still is the realization that we as alumni cannot hold them accountable or, at the very least, be given some indication of their plans for the future. At present, it appears that they change course as often as the weather changes in Waco. Who’s minding the store? Dear Regents, We are embarrassed, we are ashamed, and we are dismayed at the way YOU have handled this entire awful ordeal. You have hidden behind the victim’s privacy in order to conceal the truth. You have sacrificed a football program for the sake of diverting attention from a larger problem and you have continued to harm the victims and the Baylor family by refusing to address this problem in a timely honest restorative manner.
    Thankfully, Tom Nesbit and the other leaders of the Baylor Line Foundation were able to negotiate the inclusion of 3 Regents to speak the voice of reason going forward. From now on, I will understand the need for an independent voice and I will answer the call. John C. Ginn B.B.A. ’86 J.D. ’89

  8. I have googled Baylor University within last 24 hours every single day since May 24, so I have kept up with news reporting. I also have done my own independent scouring of the web for information on the subject: How are other schools doing? How can we help prepare young women to avoid situations where rape is more likely to occur? (It never occurred to me to get your drink only from the unopened container and keep it with you at all times, but I think that is something all young women need to know.) How can friends help friends avoid dangerous situations? I have learned a lot and am on a mission to get both families and churches to educate young people before they leave home on this subject, which can change a life forever. My heart aches for the victims.

    Instead of “cutting off the head” to make the bleeding stop (President Garland’s letter today – oh, my, are we still in the denial quagmire of just throwing vague, unproven info out there in the hopes it will erase the “stigma”), why don’t we, as a nation, try to come up with new ways that women can report rape/sexual assault without feeling raped twice?

    I keep hearing numbers about the football program, but they do not match, or even come near, the numbers of convictions or even indictments. It is still a woman’s right to choose to report the incident and/or ask for an investigation. That should be her right – her primary interest should be in healing herself. But, at the same time “reported”, “alleged”, and other such innuendos seem to turn our justice system of laws upside down and make it guilty until proven innocent. I have no “special interest” here except the truth – if the truth is bad, let’s have it. But, to ruin lives with unproven accusations is not our US system of justice nor our Christian way.

    The drip drip of info indicates to me that there is no proven there there. I’m not saying things people said are not true, but since when is the Board of Regents jury, judge and executioner?

    I don’t want to come across accusatory nor angry (though I’ve had to work on those and have prayed about each comment entry I’ve made), but there should be a distinction when releasing information between what is being investigated, has resulted in an indictment or conviction, and what is alleged.

    And, most of all, we need to all come together and find a system where women feel safe reporting assaults, having them investigated and not destroying their lives in the process of doing so. Let’s all pray and see where God leads us. As I said before, we are in the limelight – let’s let God use it for good because right now satan is sure using it for evil.

  9. President Garland’s letter today indicated that: “since 2011, a total of 17 victims reported allegations of sexual assault or domestic violence by 19 football players”. What were the total numbers, not just FB players? How many of these 17 (or the larger number) declined even an investigation into the incident? How many were reported to Baylor Police? How many were reported to Waco Police? Since the statute of limitations in Texas for rape is 10 years, have we made sure the victims who haven’t pursued their cases know that they still have rights to do so? We say we want to heal victims and stop the “wave”. Arresting one perpetrator might help reduce the wave. None of the questions I asked would invade anyone’s privacy, unless information has already been released to certain parties inappropriately. Has Baylor followed through on all investigations that were handed over to Baylor Police or Waco Police to find out the results? These are answers that would be good to post on the new “truth” website: . If the website is truly about truth, let’s not leave past victims behind just because people have been fired – that doesn’t “let us off the hook” for the past victims (10 years’ worth!). Thank you.

    I guess since I have commented 3 times, I should reveal my name and graduation years. Cheryl Campbell BA, ’73, MA ’75 (and I have been a Lifetime Member since graduation)

  10. D Tyler Greenfield

    My response to Dr. Garland’s letter:

    With all due respect Dr. Garland, this is disingenuous and a series of half-truths at best. I think the BOR should also bear a great deal responsibility for this fiasco and the manner in which the entire situation was handled from the start. The BOR initially sat on their hands and failed to have any grasp of the magnitude of the situation and then later sanctimoniously acted as if they were shocked and outraged at the situation, caved in to media pressure and completely overreacted while simultaneously giving no information to Baylor alumni, donors, supporters and fans.

    This “transparency” effort is a blatantly obvious, thinly-guised, shallow PR move that is “too little, too late”. It does very little for the victims, provides even more fodder for the hostile media and is obviously designed to make Coach Briles a scapegoat in the eyes of the media and the general public, not only for the highly publicized football program events, but also for a variety of institutional failures that had nothing to do with him or the football program. Coach Briles, after years of institutional football ineptness, built an championship program essentially out of nothing which was of great benefit to Baylor University as a whole and the entire Baylor family. The BOR response was in essence to give Coach Briles’ head on a platter to a media feeding frenzy.

    This “transparency” effort is also obviously designed to try to discredit Patty Crawford, who pointed out broad institutional failures at a number of levels. It also completely ignores the vast majority of victims who were allegedly assaulted by individuals that had nothing to do with the football program (if you believe Baylor’s numbers). If the correct response really is to “clean house” by firing the football coach, university president and athletic director for a variety of other alleged assaults, then the widespread institutional failure should be remedied by replacing the entire BOR as well as Reagan Ramsower. Dr. Ramsower got on national TV and really came across as completely inept, citing failures in the Baylor Police department which he oversees. If one uses the same logic that was applied to get rid of Coach Briles, Ken Starr and Ian McCaw, then Dr. Ramsower should be terminated immediately.

    Furthermore, If you really are sincere about being fully “transparent”, then let us also hear from the BOR members who voted against terminating Coach Briles, Judge Starr and Mr. McCaw, not just the selected ones that are allowed to talk to the WSJ or appear in interviews on your new website.

    I don’t recall in my lifetime (perhaps except Watergate) a more complete and total failure at handling of a crisis situation. Furthermore, it continues to get worse every day. The BOR and Baylor administration frankly behaved as rank amateurs. I refer you to the example of the University of Tennessee, where my daughter is a student. The University of Tennessee had a similar problem involving a much larger number of assaults by football players and the head football coach was even quoted as being critical of football players who came to the aid of victims, calling them “disloyal”. He later apologized. However, the BOR at Tennessee quickly got in front of the situation, “circled the wagons”, took care of the victims, cleaned house, revised policy & infrastructure internally and did not cave in to media pressure. The Tennessee story is now over and is a mere after thought or footnote to the ongoing media firestorm that the actions of the BOR and Baylor administration continue to flame. Baylor University’s reputation and football program may never recover (or will be years in doing so) from the complete mishandling of the situation by the administration and the BOR.

    I am a proud Baylor alumni and love Baylor University. I do not make the above comments lightly and it really pains me to point out the hypocrisy, failures and general ineptness. However, the actions of the BOR and Baylor administration made a bad situation even worse and need to be remedied quickly or the damage to Baylor will only continue to worsen.


    D. Tyler Greenfield, MD

    Kingsport, TN

    BBA 1980Yes

  11. I agree that there needs to be transparency, both in Baylor’s governance as well in its reporting of these events. ESPN noted that the regents operate under a non-disclosure agreement—why? There are too many other people affected by their decisions to do so much behind closed doors. The self-perpetuating model may have been a good-sounding idea at the time when Baylor sought to protect its own character by limiting the potential for external influence, but it’s clear that this governance structure needs to be revisited now.

    The only reason I can think of that no written copy of the Pepper Hamilton report exists is because they clearly have something to hide. Either way, they made a detailed investigation and it’s past time to release said details. Make a real written report. Name names. Let the public who is emotionally, financially and otherwise invested in this school know the full story. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

    Personally, I take no issue with the WSJ piece’s timing unless that was done to brush those details under the rug while folks were concentrating on BU vs. UT. Point being, ensuring that Baylor students are treated with respect in sexual assault cases is far more important than a football game. Regardless, they need to release the full report—as a report from Pepper Hamilton, not a summary of oral remarks too vague to give any detail—to the public.

  12. The so-called Statement of Facts from the PH law firm that the BOR presented is not facts. On the contrary, it is rumor, hearsay and unsubstantiated accusations. That is the exact reason why the staff and coaches issued a signed statement disputing the release of the PH reported accusation against Coach Briles. Please don’t misunderstand, I am not advocating the reemployment of Coach Briles. I am suggesting that the BOR validate any further release of information from the PH report. Failing to do so and the release of more disputed information could put the BOR under so much attack that the demand for their resignation will exceed any ability to govern our University. The absolute disagreement with the accusation recently disclosed to the Wall Street Journal clearly places questions about the validity of the PH report.

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