As an increasing number of people speak up about the events that changed Baylor University, there is one group that has been almost completely silent.
The players who were there during the Art Briles’ era have been mostly unheard on this issue.
A few months after Briles was fired in May ‘16, players and coaches had planned to speak out against the University the day Baylor played at Texas on Oct. 29, 2016, according to sources.
The previous day, a story in The Wall Street Journal appeared that painted a bleak picture of the Baylor football team; the coaches and players were livid and planned to use the post-game press conference to lash out at school administrators. But BU lost at UT by one point, and the mood changed.
Since that time, the players have not spoken of the events that changed the direction of the program and the school.
Meanwhile, more documents released in a Waco courtroom last week revealed potentially damaging evidence against the University, and specifically administrators who knew about sexual assault claims against one particular Baylor player and did not act on it.
Of the situation in general, current Dallas Cowboys wide receiver K.D. Cannon, who played for Baylor from 2014 to ‘16, said this week, “No one heard anything about this until it came out (in the media). Nothing. It was just like all new all at once. Nobody knew what was going on, or had heard this. We didn’t know, and the coaches didn’t know about it.
“At the end of the day, I think a lot of this stuff was not actually how it was. Just being a player, and actually living it, I think a lot of it was made up.”
One of the biggest questions about the incidents is who knew what, and when?
The 38-pages of documents obtained trough a court motion that was filed on behalf of 10 Jane Doe plaintiffs against Baylor indicate the particulars of Tevin Elliott’s acts were known to and not revealed to any member of the athletic department.
In January of 2014, Elliott was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the rape of multiple victims.
Baylor officials had previously said it was not aware of the assault allegations against Elliott until May 2012. Elliott played 12 games for Baylor in 2011.
Records show that email/text exchanges between Baylor administrators, among them former Baylor CEO and senior Vice President Reagan Ramsower and chief judicial officer Bethany McCraw and former Baylor police chief Jim Doak, were aware of multiple allegations against Elliott well before he was removed from the team in late Nov. ‘11.
According to a new report by KWTX in Waco, Elliott was allowed to remain on campus and enrolled for nearly a month after the school was made aware of the charges.
The lawfirm of Dunn and Dunnam wrote, “What is known now in 2018 … is that Ramsower, Doak, (Associate director for judicial affairs David) Murdock, McCraw and (VP For Student Life Martha Lou) Scott were themselves aware of multiple sexual assaults before Elliott raped a final student on April 15, 2012, and that these responsible parties remain in high-level positions at the school today.”
Baylor issued a statement denying these allegations, or that it is not providing documentation that, thus far, has been mostly obtained through court order.
Baylor also pressed to focus on the 105-recommendations/improvements the school has enacted to be compliant with Title IX laws.
Clearly, however, there exists dramatically different versions of events portrayed by the school, former members of the athletic department, and the players themselves.
“I feel to a certain extent some of what you’re seeing is not true,” Cannon said. “The football coach can only know so much, and once you put the police department in it, that’s when they take over. If they didn’t tell the coach, or anybody, that’s on them. So, as they said, Coach Briles reported some situations, and nobody took care of it after they reported it, that’s on them.”
At least in this matter, the faucet of bad news continues its slow drip for Baylor.