NCAA enforcement staff have interviewed former Baylor administrators, Title IX investigators and some of the women who alleged football players sexually assaulted them in a continuing investigation on whether NCAA rules were violated, sources told ESPN on Friday.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told ESPN on Friday that the NCAA could be looking into some of the issues raised in text messages released Thursday in a court filing pertaining to players receiving extra benefits.
“I doubt very much that most students have anybody available to steer them to legal counsel,” Bowlsby told ESPN.
The court filing Thursday by Baylor regents and administrators was in response to former football director of operations Colin Shillinglaw’s libel lawsuit.
The filing text messages and emails indicated former Baylor coach Art Briles and his assistants actively intervened in the discipline of football players, worked to keep their cases under wraps and tried to arrange legal representation for their players.
Meanwhile, Bears for Leadership Reform demanded “full transparency, not an ongoing dribble of select information,” group leader John Eddie Williams said via a story by The Associated Press on Friday.
“We are shocked and appalled by the information in this court filing, and the fact that the regents, with full knowledge of this information, reportedly paid Art Briles and others millions of dollars in severance is deeply troubling,” Williams said.
Bears for Leadership Reform includes several prominent Baylor donors and Briles supporters, notably Drayton McLane, whose name adorns Baylor’s new $250 million football stadium.
The regents’ court filing Thursday said they had no choice but to reveal some of the details of what they found.
The school reached settlements with two women who had not sued but reported being gang-raped by football players. It has battled others, but the lawsuit that alleging more than 50 attacks by football players was a stunning escalation beyond the 17 previously acknowledged by Baylor regents. Just as shocking were the allegations against Briles revealed Thursday.