Skip to main content

The Brief: Baylor boosters call for reform

Amid scrutiny over how Baylor University handled allegations of sexual assault against football players and other students, a group of boosters asked for more transparency from the school's board of regents.

Baylor University alumni and donors listen to speakers gathered at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame museum in Waco on Nov. 10...

The Big Story

Prominent names connected to Baylor University gathered near the school's campus Thursday to plead for reform in the wake of the school's widely criticized handling sexual assaults on campus. Here's what went down: 

• The boosters focused most of the blame on the university board of regents. The group stopped short of calling for a formal removal of board members but asked for more transparency and for the release of more information from an investigation commissioned by the school into how the school handles allegations of sexual assault. 

• Baylor has been in turmoil since August 2015, when football player Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of raping another student. Similar other cases soon came to light, and law firm Pepper Hamilton, which investigated the school’s policies and practices, said unnamed football coaches met with women who said they were assaulted by football players, but that the coaches didn’t report those accusations.

• In May, football coach Art Briles and university president Ken Starr lost their jobs after a long investigation — enraging some football fans and players. On Thursday the board didn't issue an opinion on whether he should have been fired, but John Eddie Williams, a Houston lawyer and Baylor donor, said he found Briles to be “a man of great integrity.” In a letter to to the "Baylor Family" hours after the meeting Thursday, however, Murff said the board agreed that Briles was not coming back. 

• In his letter, Murff said Baylor regents are vowing to be more forthcoming with the public. "Rather than stay silent, the University's senior leadership recognized that the Baylor Family deserved to know more about the magnitude of the problem and about the reasons why we responded so forcefully to the Pepper Hamilton findings," Murff wrote. 

Tribune Today

Analysis: The blue dots in Texas’ red political sea
Texas remained true to the GOP in this week's general election, but the blue spots on the map that represent Democratic votes and mark many of the state's biggest cities are getting bluer.

Border leaders think Trump's tough talk on NAFTA will die down
Despite all the time Donald Trump spent bashing NAFTA while running, border leaders hope he'll soften his stance as campaign trail rhetoric cools.  

Among Texans, race is on for jobs in Trump administration
Four Texans — including former Gov. Rick Perry and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller — are being mentioned most often as potential members of a Trump administration.

Travis County star of “best campaign ad ever” wins re-election
Republican Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty won re-election Tuesday, no small feat in the heavily Democratic county.

Bid to change Railroad Commission's name falls short again
The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission on Thursday snubbed several recommendations meant to enhance the Railroad Commission of Texas' efficiency and environmental regulatory functions.

HUD gives Dallas deadline to prove millions were properly spent
The federal agency began asking questions about how Dallas housing officials steered funds after a city audit concluded that "incomplete" record keeping made it impossible to confirm rules were followed. 

What We're Reading

(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)

Trump's highway improvement plans come with a price of maybe more Texas toll roads, Houston Chronicle

Austin officer won’t face charges in violent arrest of Breaion King, Austin American-Statesman

House Republicans test Trump on his U.S.-Mexico wall, Reuters 

Joe Straus calls for civility, bipartisanship in upcoming session, Austin American-Statesman

Today in TribTalk

"Recapture. The infamous, intimidating, complex school finance policy often referred to as 'Robin Hood.' The very term imparts a sense of negativity. But why?"

— Ray Freeman, The Equity Center

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   A Conversation with state Reps. Andrew Murr and Jason Isaac on Nov. 14 at Schreiner University in Kerrville

•   A Symposium Previewing the 85th Legislature on Nov. 29 at The University of Texas - Texas Union Ballroom

•   A Conversation with Michael K. Young, President of Texas A&M University on Dec. 1 at The Austin Club

•   San Antonio & the Legislature: A Preview of the 85th on Dec. 2 at University of Texas at San Antonio – Downtown Campus

•   A Conversation with Sen.-elect Dawn Buckingham & Rep.-elect Hugh Shine on Dec. 8 at Temple College – Arnold Student Union

Quality journalism doesn't come free

Yes, I'll donate today