A new lawsuit was filed Thursday by seven Baylor officials, several school regents and the interim university president among them, accusing former head football coach Art Briles and other members of the athletics administration of conspiring to keep hidden multiple counts of athlete misconduct.
The lawsuit calls the football program “a black hole into which reports of misconduct such as drug use, physical assault, domestic violence, brandishing of guns, indecent exposure and academic fraud disappeared.”
The regents’ filing includes evidence provided by a former assistant athletics director comprised of text messages wherein Briles and other athletics officials betrayed knowledge of multiple allegations concerning members of the football team between 2011 and 2015.
The Dallas Morning News shared the text evidence from the lawsuit, which details several conversations between Baylor athletics officials:
On April 8, 2011, after an assistant coach informed Briles of a freshman football player being cited for illegal alcohol consumption, Briles responded, “Hopefully he’s under the radar enough they won’t recognize name—did he get ticket from Baylor police or Waco? …Just trying to keep him away from our judicial affair folks.”
On Feb 11, 2013, an assistant coach notified Briles of a female student athlete’s claim that a football player waved a gun at her, saying, “She’s acting traumatized…Trying to talk her calm now…Doesn’t seem to want to report though.” The incident was never brought before judicial affairs.
On Sept 13, 2013, former assistant athletics director of football operations Colin Shillinglaw sent Briles a message informing him that a football player exposed himself to a masseuse, reportedly requesting sexual favors. Shillinglaw wrote, “She has a lawyer but wants us to handle with discipline and counseling,” to which Briles responded, “What kind of discipline…she a stripper?”
On Sept 20, 2013, a football player was arrested for assault and threatening the life of another student. A football operations official allegedly tried to talk the victim out of pressing charges, and athletics director Ian McCaw sent a message to Briles saying, “That would be great if they would keep it quiet.”
On May 14, 2014, after an assistant coach informed Briles of a football player caught selling drugs, Briles reportedly replied, “I’m hoping it will take care of itself—if not we can discuss best way to move on it.”
The new suit also alleges that a student athlete told her coach that she was raped by 5 football players at an off-campus party. Her coach then took a list of names to Briles, who reportedly said, “Those are some bad dudes. Why was she around those guys?” He then suggested that she tell the police.
The regents’ suit came days after a Baylor student and sexual assault victim sued the school, accusing 31 football players of at least 52 counts of rape between 2011 and 2014, significantly more than the 19 accusations brought before the school in May of 2015, which resulted in the initial firing of Briles.
The student’s lawsuit accuses the Baylor football program of using sex to attract recruits, alleging that officials escorted underage recruits to strip clubs and arranged women to have sex with prospective players.
On Wednesday, a day before the regents filed their suit, Briles dropped his libel suit previously filed against the school.