Baylor alumni group calls for more transparency from Board of Regents

- A large group of Baylor University donors and alumni came together Wednesday to figure out what they can do to force major changes at the university in the wake of the sex assault scandal.

A federal lawsuit filed against Baylor last month alleges there were more than 50 rapes by football players over a four year period. The incident has many alumni and donors wondering how the university will handle the growing controversy.

The allegations against Baylor football players include gang rape, soliciting women, alcohol and drugs for football recruits and dozens of individual instances of sexual assault.

Donors and alumni targeted the Board of Regents Wednesday night, believing they might have known about the allegations after an internal investigation was done and could have taken action.

The scandal led to the firing of football coach Art Briles. President Ken Starr was demoted and then left. Now, donors and alumni want more changes in the administration, asking the Board of Regents what they knew, if anything.

"We believe the way to heal is to have full transparency,” said donor John Eddie Williams. “And so the root of all this is lack of leadership."

Five regents were at the town hall meeting. They just listened but did not comment. The board chairman declined the invitation.

"Ultimately, they are the governing body and the leadership of the university,” said former regent Randy Ferguson.

The two groups behind the town hall, the Baylor Line Foundation and the Bears for Leadership Reform, presented a plan for how the Board of Regents should be more transparent, including publicizing meetings and meeting openly, giving media more access to the board and allowing regents to speak freely.

"The sooner the board addresses the transparency and the details as they can, the better,” said alum Carl Mattlage.

Last month, a Baylor University graduate who says she was raped by two football players, filed a federal lawsuit, alleging a "culture of sexual violence" and a "show 'em a good time" philosophy in the Baylor football program.

The lawsuit claims Baylor players arranged for women, alcohol and drugs for recruiting parties. It says there were at least 52 rapes by more than 30 football players over a four-year period.

Last year, an independent investigation found 17 reports of sexual and domestic assault since 2011 involving 19 players. Only two players have been dismissed from the school in response to the scandal.

"I want to know what, if anything, is being done to repair the image of Baylor we all know and love,” said alum Linda Trotter.

People at the meeting said they deserve all the facts. They also want the regents’ positions to become elected positions.

A university spokesperson referred FOX 4 to a letter the Board of Regents chairman sent the groups, declining to attend.

The letter said, "the regents initiated an independent task force on governance reform last November....we are confident in the exceptional work of the task force and continue to recognize the group's insights and efforts."

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