One day after Art Briles dropped his defamation lawsuit against Baylor, three regents have filed their answer to another pending lawsuit brought in Dallas County by Colin Shillinglaw, a former member of the Baylor Athletic Department. The answer includes allegations that Briles helped cover up wrongdoing by players and worked to divert players away from punishment and proper investigatory channels.
The Houston Chronicle broke the news first. They have a copy of the answer in the middle of this article.
Here are some things the answer alleges:
“President Starr asked Jermy Counseller, a law professor who also served as Baylor’s Faculty Athletics Representative under NCAA provisions, to lead the investigation and report back to him. President Starr said he would then determine “what additional action to take.” As a former prosecutor, Counseller soon advised that the sexual assault problem was beyond anything he or Baylor should handle internally.” - page 9
“Pepper Hamilton employed a special security consultant to capture images on 52 laptops and 62 mobile devices.”- page 10 and 11.
During a meeting in February of 2016, Pepper Hamilton claimed Baylor did not mishandle the Ukwuachu transfer:
“The investigation determined Baylor had taken the proper steps to obtain Ukwuachu’s student records from Boise State. Although Ukwuachu had allegedly beaten and choked a girlfriend while enrolled at Boise State, this fact was unknown to Baylor or Boise State officials until the victim testified at his trial in August 2015.”
They explain why there was not a full written report from Pepper Hamilton:
“The Regents in attendance at the May 2 meeting decided the findings were so dire the Board could not delay...The group believed the Regents needed to respond much sooner than the six months it would take for Pepper Hamilton to prepare a lengthy written report with substantial supporting documentation. Pepper Hamilton’s investigative team then traveled to Waco to deliver a full verbal presentation of findings to the entire Board. “
Pages 15-18 lay out the Tevin Elliot situation. The answer alleges Elliot should have been kicked out of school for cheating, but he was reinstated after his time to appeal ran. The answer goes on to allege an assistant coach (not named in the answer) spoke with Elliot about an allegation he raped a woman, and Elliot denied knowing the girl. Then, Elliot admitted he lied to the assistant coach, but Elliot then claimed he was with her and said when said stop he did. Briles allegedly texted, “Wow-not good-I’ll call you later.”
Shawn Oakman’s situation is detailed on page 18. In contrast to the investigation of Ukwuachu, “the Athletics Department never requested his Penn State student file.”- page 18. A woman claimed Oakman “slammed her into a brick wall, and shoved her face into her bed.” The answer goes on to allege, “She also notified the football program about the alleged incident, personally delivering a copy of the Waco Police Department report to Shillinglaw, and two other people she believed to be assistant football coaches.”- page 19.
As it pertains to the allegations of gang rapes: the answer alleges Briles was informed of that and mentioned, “Those are some bad dudes...Coach Briles offered no defense of his players and told the coach he should have his student-athlete inform the police and prosecute....Recent follow-up inquires found no records showing that anyone- McCaw, Coach Briles, the other coach, or any other member of the Athletics Department- reported the 2013 allegation to Judicial Affairs.”- pages 21-22. The section also goes on to document other horrific incidents and claims Ian McCaw was not forthcoming with information when discussing the incidents with Patty Crawford- pages 23 and 24.
The vote to suspend Art Briles with the intent to terminate for cause was 24-6. The vote to recommend McCaw’s resignation was 26-4.- page 25. McCaw and Briles were given an hour with the Board of Regents. The Regents then decided to, “recommend placing McCaw on probation with sanctions....The Board then took up a motion to reconsider the recommendation to suspend Coach Briles with intent to terminate. The motion to reconsider failed by an overwhelming margin.”- page 27
As one of us (Mark) tweeted at the time:
I wrote/tweeted this in November. Still 100% true today. pic.twitter.com/fvN1AINwNa— OurDailyBears (@OurDailyBears) February 3, 2017
Beyond that, it’s hard to really put into words what most Baylor fans are feeling right now. The school we love has been tarnished for months. The coach we idolized could not have fallen further from grace. All we can hope for is that we will learn from these tragedies and come out better on the other side. Better at taking care of our own, better at fulfilling our mission, and better at making sure this kind of thing never happens again.