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Talking With Proactive Strategery And Saying Nothing

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As Paul noted below, Ken Starr has been moved to a new sinecure rather than being fired, although at least Coach Briles has been fired. Meanwhile, Baylor’s report shows that the admin has mastered the art that corporate masters must master above all else when their malfeasance leaves no choice but to communicate with the public:

You can read the second so-called report, the Board of Regent’s “finding of fact,” here. It contains almost no facts; it has no names, no timelines, no dates, no specific examples; and it has no quotes from anyone who was interviewed or selections from emails or documents that were cited. Yes, it levies some horrifying allegations—that administrators discouraged people from reporting, that there was a failure to respond to reports that were levied, and that in one case “those actions constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault”—but it doesn’t address them in anything more than the broadest possible language.

Who retaliated? Was it a member of the athletics staff? Was it physical or verbal? More broadly, who decided that athletics could handle sexual-assault reports internally, which goes directly against what universities were told in 2011 regarding Title IX—that complaints “must not be addressed solely by athletics department procedures”? You won’t find any of this information in either of these non-reports.

Having names matters. Who did the cover up? Was it the head coach? His assistants? The waterboy? How often did this happen? Did they know it was wrong or were they genuinely never educated in the law? Did anyone ever intervene? Did they take action to suppress the information from their supervisors? The public? How widespread was all this?

If the reports’ purpose was to inform the public about what happened here, they failed; if their purpose was, as perhaps it may have been, to get right-thinking sportswriters issuing outraged tweets and columns about how Baylor had diligently investigated itself and found itself wanting, as laid bare in searing reports, they succeeded.

[…]

Remember nine months ago, when Baylor was issuing statements and bragging about all its investigations without actually saying anything? This was better orchestrated, but I’m not sure it’s any different. As for September, I’m prepared for whatever might come out then to be equally useless. What happened today was nothing more than an immaculate demonstration of how to generate pages and pages of words that don’t actually say anything.

Things may have happened, but let’s not all caught up in exactly who covered up for and/or botched investigations into whose alleged crimes. Go Bears!

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  • AMK

    And the only reason this even made news was the irony of Ken Starr being involved in a sex coverup during a Clinton campaign.

    It’s like the fucking church at this point. If you’re going to create a huge men’s club where women and marriage are forbidden but spending lots of time with kids is encouraged, you’re going to shelter pedophiles. That’s just going to happen, and it’s going to keep happening until something is actually done about the underlying problem. If you’re going to build an industry off of coddling and goading and glamorizing violent young men, you’re going to shelter rapists. That’s just going to happen. It’s not even news.

  • BGinCHI

    If Baylor had to play a season as the Lying Rapists instead of as the Bears, would anyone in Waco notice?

    • would anyone in Waco notice?

      Certainly they would! They’d all have to rush out and buy their newly re-logo-ized fan gear!!

      And don’t think it wouldn’t sell, big.

  • koolhand21

    I’m reminded here of 2009 when we were encouraged to look forward, not back. Why, oh why, Scott, do you agree with those who want to dredge up the past and actually look at it? Silly rabbit.

  • SMU got the death penalty for paying their players. Is there any talk of giving Baylor the death penalty for helping players hide crimes?

    • Barry_D

      Because the sole purpose of the NCAA is to. Are sure that the players get sh*t for money.
      They don’t mind rape.

  • efgoldman

    The report outlines (amorphously) a bunch of Title IX violations, which is bad enough, but is silent on the question of failure to report/investigate/prosecute by the civil authorities (although one player has been convicted and sentenced to significant time). I wonder if there’s a parallel investigation by state or federal prosecutors. There certainly should be!

    • Peterr

      Baylor has an opportunity to make their “We’re shocked!” response something more than a Captain Renault moment. They could take the entire report — not just this no-names-attached summary that they released — and all the supporting interviews, documents, etc., and turn it over to the local prosecutors (county, state, and federal). “We waive attorney-client privilege, and want to hand all the work of our independent investigators over to the appropriate authorities so that they can pursue criminal charges as might be warranted.”

      Their insurance company would no doubt have a cow, and perhaps use that to claim “we refuse to pay any claims that might come about because of the release of this report”, but it would make their outrage much more believable.

      Until then, it’s just Captain Renault speaking.

      Per the Chronicle of Higher Education, Starr will continue receiving his full salary, despite losing his post as president. That little detail, buried in the story, kind of makes a mockery of the Chronicle’s headline “‘Fundamental Failure’ on Sexual Assaults Brings Sweeping Change at Baylor”.

      Can you say “Your winnings, sir”? Sure you can.

      • Colin Day

        “‘Fundamental Failure’ on Sexual Assaults Brings Sweeping Change under the rug at Baylor”

        FTFY

  • CHD

    From USA Today:

    A person with direct knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter said that the Baylor Board of Regents did not view any of the three key leaders involved in the sexual assault scandal — Briles, Starr or McCaw — as irreplaceable, and that the football program had reached a level of success that it would not backslide to the bottom of the Big 12 were Briles no longer the coach.

    So, he would be irreplaceable if they might backslide? Am I reading that right?

    • efgoldman

      the football program had reached a level of success that it would not backslide to the bottom of the Big 12 were Briles no longer the coach.

      Glad they’re keeping their focus on what’s really important.
      Tumbrels and pitchforks all around, barkeep.

  • Diana Moskovitz has been so fantastic at Deadspin.

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