A conversation meant to be in private is now public, and the record now shows Baylor University’s gut reaction was to not fire football coach Art Briles.
Last week in a Waco court, portions of Baylor board of regent member Phil Stewart’s testimony, which was taken on Aug. 22, was released.
His testimony re-confirms considerable dissension among board members about how to specifically handle the sexual assault allegations, the internal Title IX investigation conducted by the law firm of Pepper Hamilton, and the future of Briles.
Stewart testified, “I’m talking about there was a straw vote, and he [Briles] survived that straw vote.”
Stewart said he was not privy to any private meetings between certain board members of the firm. He also said once he was aware of the firm’s deep ties to Starr, he was uneasy about any potential conflict of interest between the two parties.
In testimony taken and released by Jane Doe’s lawyers, Stewart said, “It’s difficult for me to express an opinion as to whether or not I believe that a conspiracy existed among either a small group of Regents and/or certain members of the Baylor administration to point a laser at one division within Baylor University upon which to develop the findings that were presented on May 12, 2016.
“I have testified that I do believe that the investigation did not go far enough and determine the role of the administration in the overall process of Title IX issues, which includes the identification and the resolution of -- of handling issues of sexual assault and student misconduct, otherwise defined as prohibited conduct, far enough. I am concerned that there was an effort to protect certain members of the administration.”
The person Stewart said he thought the school was trying to protect is former Baylor chief financial officer, Reagan Ramsower.