Baylor alumni group calls for investigation into sex assault findings

Some powerful alumni at Baylor University say the school has not done enough to explain its investigation of alleged sex assaults involving members of the football team and are calling for a new investigation.

The university hired the Pepper Hamilton Law Firm to conduct an independent investigation. But critics say that's not enough.

The fact that a full, physical report has never been made public has led to a group of high-powered Baylor alumni calling for an investigation into that investigation. They believe it’s the only way the university can truly move forward from the scandal.

A few members of the group say they’re even willing to pitch in to pay for estimated $1 million cost.

Attorney John Williams is one of three Baylor alumni who are firmly asking that the university's board of regents take additional action.

“The distrust that many of the alumni have of the board is not going away,” he said.

Former Texas Governor Mark White, former Baylor Regent Randy Ferguson and Williams are all members of a group called 'Bears for Leadership Reform.'

“The trust issue is very important in every institution but particularly in an institution that holds itself out as a Christian university — a Baptist university,” White said.

The alumni take issue with the handling of the Pepper Hamilton report, a nine-month investigation that included interviews with current and former students and staff as well as individuals identified as victims of sexual assault.

The report led to the firing of President Ken Starr and Head Football Coach Art Briles. But the group says the problem is the findings were presented to the board without written materials.

“If they have nothing to hide, then they should embrace an investigation which would document that they've done the right thing,” Williams said.

The group wants the regents to agree to an independent review of the Pepper Hamilton report and full disclosure of disciplinary action against current and former staff.

“Did they really do something wrong? If they really did something wrong, why would you pay them any money if you did?” asked Williams. “But we're being blocked from those important facts.”

Jerry Clements is one of three regents who met with the alums on Monday. She didn't rule out the request.

“I think we need to think about that really carefully,” she said. “I want to do what's in the best interest of Baylor. And if we look at this and consider their suggestion and hear from others and hear their suggestions, then we're going to do what's in the best interest for Baylor going forward.”

Clements and the other two regents who attended Monday’s meeting in Dallas will take the request to the entire board.

Williams hopes to have an answer from the board within a week or so. If they say yes, Williams wants his organization to be part of the vetting and selection process.

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