Following the Baylor sexual assault scandal and the rolling of proverbial heads in its wake, Baylor has essentially closed up shop. Releasing more information beyond the 13-page Pepper Hamilton summary, interim president David Garland has reasoned, will only re-traumatize its victims.
That approach has been met with criticism from the media covering the scandal and fans from other programs. And, now, a new group: the Big 12.
The conference released a statement on Wednesday condemning Baylor’s approaching, saying, “[t]he Big 12 Board of Directors is gravely and deeply concerned by media reports about activities involving the athletics program at Baylor University.”
The statement goes on to say:
On May 24, 2016, the Big 12 Board requested a full accounting of the circumstances surrounding the sexual assaults at the University. At this time the Board is only privy to information that has been made available to the public.
Today, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby sent a letter to Baylor University Interim President David Garland once again requesting all documents associated with the investigations of sexual assaults at Baylor. This request is for written materials as well as any information that has been conveyed orally to University leadership or to its Board of Regents including, but not limited to, the unedited written or verbal information from Pepper Hamilton, omitting only the names of any involved students. Internal documents pertinent to the investigation have also been requested.
Because many of the incidents at Baylor reportedly involve student-athletes, the Conference is appropriately concerned with discovery of the facts. The Big 12 is primarily configured to facilitate fair competition among its members and compliance to the rules of both the Conference and NCAA. To that end, full disclosure is vital to assess the impact on the Big 12.
Commissioner Bob Bowlsby added: “All of our member universities consider student safety and security to be paramount among institutional responsibilities. The Big 12 Board of Directors, each member of the Conference and its student-athletes want to convey that our thoughts, concerns and sympathies are with the Baylor survivors and their families.”
Art Briles, Ken Starr and Ian McCaw are gone, but the sexual assault scandal that enveloped Baylor University is not — no matter how much the Bears would like it to be.