Before Ken Starr joined the presidential defense team, Mother Jones revisited his leadership of Baylor University.

On the college level, football players were not exempt from sexual assault allegations. Just look at what women suffered at Baylor University as a result of the “institutional failures at every level” under the leadership of Art Briles and then-school president Ken Starr (yeah, that Ken Starr.) One lawsuit alleged that 31 Baylor football players had committed 52 “acts of rape” between 2011 and 2014.

The university has settled several Title IX lawsuits with sexual assault survivors who accused officials of allowing a “rape culture” and failing to properly act against incidents of sexual assault. That included a Baylor volleyball player who alleged she was drugged and raped by at least four football players in 2012.

‘The management structure of these schools is like that dim sum dish, thousand layer cake, only here it’s thousand layer assholes. Art Briles, Ken Starr, Buddy Jones – a whole royal asshole family ran Baylor, and now the place is trying to replace them with less assholery, but we’ve got a tradition here, people.’

If I may quote myself.

And damned if we don’t have a tradition. Now comes Hoss Willis (not his real first name, but see if you can watch this tv news report about all the people involved in this latest Baylor University story and not conclude that every one of them should be named Hoss) (as in Hoss) which some guys uh these two guys claim done said bad shit ’bout our womenfolk and plus you know blacks and Jews and all…

UD is curious about one small detail. Pussy singular or pussies plural? Here’s what one attorney charges:

“Willis made [a] comment to the effect ‘the reason Baylor has such highly qualified (black) football players is because Baylor has the best blonde haired, blue-eyed…’ and he used a very bad term relating to the young girls at Baylor.”

I’m thinking pussy singular.

UD also likes the way the news report, whenever it mentions that an investigator flew to France, shows us a picture of the Eiffel Tower with an airplane next to it.

‘At the time, there [was] no shortage of voices asking [Kenneth] Starr why his report had to be so brutal toward Lewinsky… If there had been an understanding of Ken Starr as a trailblazer of this kind of misogynistic thuggery, perhaps he would not have ascended the ranks of conservative academia to his perch at the Southern Baptist Baylor University, and perhaps a great deal of pain could have been avoided in Waco.’

But misogynistic thuggery IS Waco! Every city has to be about something, and only Waco boasts a biker massacre at a breastaurant, Branch Davidian child rape, and a religious university complicit in the rape of its women students.


Baylor University: Stupid is as stupid does.

The disregard for victims at Baylor wasn’t some kind of oversight. It wasn’t merely callous. It was sick. What kind of adult looks into the beseeching face of a young victim who could be his or her own daughter and decides that football is more important?

The Ken Starr kind. The same kind that went after the Clintons, first on trumped up public charges, then for sex. It’s this very cycle of history, coming back to take Starr down at last, that Baylor missed seeing over its shoulder and now is bumbling and stumbling in panic to evade.

Ken Starr and Art Briles Go on a Baylor University Faculty and Staff Retreat.

Now what is the meaning of this word retreat and why is it allowed on all hands to be a most salutary practice for all who desire to lead before God and in the eyes of men a truly christian life? A retreat, my dear boys, signifies a withdrawal for awhile from the cares of our life, the cares of this workaday world, in order to examine the state of our football program, to reflect on the mysteries of holy gridiron and to understand better why we are here in this league. During these few days I intend to put before you some thoughts concerning the four last things. They are, as you know, the NCAA death penalty, retrenchment (for this we look in fellowship to our Brother in Football, Southern Methodist University), new recruitment, and the wondrous beginning of a Rebirth in Football. We shall try to understand them fully during these few days so that we may derive from the understanding of them a lasting benefit to our win/loss stats. And remember, my dear boys, that we have been sent into this world for one thing and for one thing alone: to win football games no matter the price. All else is worthless. One thing alone is needful, the regional championship. What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world if he suffer the loss of his coach? Ah, my dear boys, believe me there is nothing in this wretched world that can make up for such a loss.

Yikes: The New York Times has just published a LONG piece on Baylor University.

UD‘s reading it now.


Well, ol’ UD will already take issue with the article’s sub headline, which has it that alumni and the “authorities” are really angry about Raping Football Players and the Men Who Love Them… But really, given the culture of Baylor (as amply represented by its departing sports ministry guy), are we supposed to buy that? Women are weak vessels and if they find themselves in an unpleasant spot with a man it’s because they forgot their burqa and their Bible. Boys will be boys.


[One of many lawsuits against the school makes] the startling claim that at least 52 rapes by at least 31 players had occurred from 2011 through 2014 — a period when the once-hapless Baylor football program became a dominant force in the highly competitive Big 12 Conference.

Hey. Price of doing business.

Who can blame Baylor for believing that Baptist Propriety for Women would mean the weak vessels would confess their shame to the sports minister and then shut up about it?

Who can blame Baylor for knowing that you want the most aggressive person you can find for your football team?


“Success in athletics means that all cocks rise,” Kenneth W. Starr, then the university’s president, told The Times in 2014.

Haha. I mean “boats.” He said success in athletics means that all boats rise.


Some women on campus will of course gladly sacrifice their virtue for the sake of the team. It is their sacred honor to pleasure recruits. One lawsuit claims

“attractive female students” in the Bruins [a “hostess” program] were expected to ensure that recruits had a good time on campus by, for example, engaging “in sexual acts with the recruits to help secure the recruits’ commitment to Baylor.”


So. Wait now for the academic scandal… Now that the door’s been opened on Baylor University, wait for details about what professors at Baylor were doing (are doing) to keep some players academically eligible.

Starr in perfect …


Baylor University: It Never Rains But it Whores.

It Never Rains but it Whores


Did y’ever wake up in the morning
And grumble as you tumble out of bed?
Your strength coach arrested — solicitation.
You might lose SAC accreditation.
The school of Ken Starr and Art Briles
Is drowning in lawsuits and trials
Your regents are vile but they won’t do town halls
You’re out of compliance with Big 12 by-laws
Yes, all day long,
Everything you touch goes wrong.

Teacher told us, when this happens, never to whine or wail;
The same things happen at other schools, but on a much smaller scale!

It never rains but what it whores;
If lady luck should happen to desert you,
Some gang rape’s never gonna hurt you,
So wait and the skies will all be blue.

It never rains but what it whores;
So what if all your troubles come in bunches,
Keep sticking to your silly little coaches,
And the sun will come shining through.

Bide your time and keep on hummin’,
Don’t you frown and sit around and weep.
Wait your turn, your day is comin’,
And you’ll be there on top of the heap!

It never rains but what it whores;
You may as well get all your worries over,
From then on you’re gonna be in clover!
Smile when you should cry,
For every cloud there’ll be a rainbow,
There’ll be a sunbeam for every raindrop by and by!


[UD thanks many readers who have sent her Baylor updates.]

The Italianization of France, the Francization of Denmark, the Louisianization of Minnesota, the Baylorization of the University of Kansas.

There’s always a country or state or institution pretty nearby that looms as the embodiment of your fear that your proud local culture is just this far away from sinking into the depravity of that other place.

[M]any in Paris [anxiously note the] “Italianization” of French life — the descent into what might become an unseemly round of [Silvio] Berlusconian squalor…

As in – France got this close to electing President Dominique Strauss-Kahn. (Dom and Don would have been great friends.)

Leave aside the details of the [rape and pimping] allegations against Dominique Strauss Kahn, the head of the IMF (his lawyer indicates he will plead not guilty). Just note that the New York Times states that he was staying in a $3,000 a night suite and was taking a first class flight to Paris. This is the IMF, the body that imposes austerity on indebted countries and is funded by global taxpayers. And this was the likely leading socialist candidate for the French presidency.

Money and sex sleaze is all over, of course (hence widespread Italianization fears), but let’s consider this warning to the University of Kansas (a public university) in the specific context of global elites and public money/general sleaze.


First: The problem besetting Francois Fillon today is exactly DSK’s problem, minus the raping: Greed + Hypocrisy. Fillon is just as stern about austerity (for the common French; not for him and his family) as was DSK’s IMF. Now his decade-long extraction of roughly a million euros from the public purse – like DSK’s use of global taxpayer money for his hotel room and flight – has the French joking about le million de Fillon and referring to François Million.

Maybe the world should establish special austerity guidelines for elites: Spain’s Princess Cristina may soon be sent to prison for a few years – she’s accused of being her husband’s accomplice in taking six million public euros (he faces twenty years confinement)… Which really when you think about it makes Fillon’s takings seem very small indeed (one v. six million), and maybe they weren’t even illegal! DSK’s takings were even less (he wasn’t head of IMF long enough to raid it), and almost certainly they followed the letter of the law.

One reason to let most of the elites get away with it is that elite corruption that gets discovered begets much more corruption. Cristina’s father – the King of Spain when her story broke – apparently offered a two million euro bribe to some people to make her trial go away.

Having to deal with corruption is bad enough. Having to deal with corruption involving very rich and powerful people is a serious nuisance.


Which brings me to the kings of America: our football coaches. It is they who assemble and – er – stabilize a roster of university or professional players, they who – at universities – command the highest public employee salary in twenty-seven of our states. (In other states, it’s basketball coaches.) They’re making scads more than the terrified president of their university, and, like Art Briles, they really get free rein. Everyone moves out of their way or enables them – campus police, town police, alumni, trustees, administrators, professors, presidents, chancellors, legislators… hell, governors — not a peep out of them. As for female students who may get beaten or raped by some of the players the coach has expensively recruited … Baylor’s football coach, Briles, allegedly “questioned why a woman was with ‘bad dudes’ from his football team after [he was told about] a gang rape accusation.” What kind of a dummy comes to a school that represents itself in this way and doesn’t know to expect gang rapes from bad dudes? Don’t women applicants read our admissions information? Baylor University seeks out bad dudes and deifies them.

Okay, so that’s the way of life. Like most corruption, it tends to feature elements of sex, money, and cover-up. I’ve always found it pretty remarkable that it thrives at universities, of all places – that bad dudes and even worse coaches dominate life on many campuses. But as with the Spanish monarchy, it takes far more than one disgusting eruption to bury the crown. You dump your current regent (he gets another job right away, maybe again at a noisily self-righteous Christian campus), take down his statue, and install a new royal house.


So okay this article. This article is about what its author daintily refers to as “the situation in Lawrence.” He’s not very specific about it, but all of the links in this sentence begin to scratch the surface. He’s worried about Baylor-corruption contagion; he uses the fate of Baylor as a cautionary tale for Kansas.

Many universities have an alarming tendency of allowing sports-related problems to fester because they won’t deal with them head-on. Coaches become too powerful and too autonomous to challenge. Image protection overwhelms honesty and transparency. A toxic tolerance level for bad behavior and bad students builds up.

At Baylor, a basketball player murdered his teammate in 2003, and the coach at the time (Dave Bliss) maliciously smeared the dead man in order to cover up NCAA violations. Within the football program, the [last coach,] (Art Briles, may he never coach again) expended quite a bit of energy keeping accusations about his players from going public or reaching the school’s judicial affairs office, and in obtaining special treatment from the administration. Briles had allies above him in athletic director Ian McCaw and school president Kenneth Starr.

The writer urges Kansas – which, remarkably even by university athletics standards, boasts “six incidents involving Kansas basketball players, in some form or fashion, that have come to light within the past two weeks,” not to deepen its institutional corruption by acting like Baylor (he could have chosen Florida State etc. etc., but Baylor’s the most recent) and adding cover-up to corruption.

If the Kansas trustees are smart and conscientious and concerned about the university as a whole and not just as a basketball power, they’re pushing hard for all the facts – and, if warranted, for immediate and significant action. Public action.

Don’t spend more energy trying to hide problems than fix problems. Don’t, at any cost, follow the Baylor blueprint.

But of course it isn’t just the trustees, and anyway we have no reason to think that the same trustees who let KU turn into dreck will reverse course. (And look who’s running the place.)

And speaking of reversals – given the history, over the last decade or so, of the University of Kansas, I’m afraid the corruption-contagion arguably goes the other way: Kansas has stunk to high heaven for a long time.


Update, Fillon:

[I]nvestigators [are] now also probing whether Mr Fillon awarded the highest French state honour – the Grand Croix de la Légion d’Honneur – to the wealthy owner of a literary review in return for giving his wife a well-paid sinecure.

When you’re “responsible for management of the public image” of the Baylor University football program…

… every day is a challenge. Ken Starr, Art Briles, gang rape and cover-up galore… All in the context of a very self-righteous, very Christian campus…

It would be a challenge for anyone [“Uh we’re pleased to announce we have the final numbers… Let’s see… ’17 women [have] reported 19 sexual or physical assaults involving football players since 2011, including four gang rapes…'”] , but Heath Nielsen is really struggling with it. Maybe it’s something in the Waco water supply, but (paraphrasing Tammy Wynette) sometimes, in Waco, it’s hard to be a man.

A sportswriter was photographing a football player after a game, see.

[The writer] had received permission from a football player to take [the] photograph, and after the picture was taken “Nielsen walked up to [the writer] on the right, grabbed [him] by the throat with his right hand, squeezed and pushed him away from the football player,’ an arrest warrant affidavit … says.

When [the writer] and the player asked Nielsen what the problem was, he replied, “He’s abusing his privileges,” the affidavit said.

To review: This is the guy in charge of managing the team’s public image.

The Baylor University School Hymn

[Sing along.]

Free from the law — oh, happy condition!
Rapists have fled, and there is remission;
Cursed by the law but saved from the fall,
Starr hath redeemed us once for all.

Once for all — oh, rapist, receive it;
Once for all — oh doubters, believe it;
Cling to the boss, the burden will fall,
Starr hath redeemed us once for all.

There is the boss your burden upbearing,
Pious white suits your savior is wearing;
Never again your sin need appall,
You have been pardoned once for all.

Now we are free — there’s no condemnation;
Baylor provides a perfect salvation:
“Come unto Me,” oh, hear its sweet call,
Come, and it saves us once for all.

“The effect of the football staff’s inappropriate actions, and the administration’s failure to change them, was an overall belief that Baylor football operated under its own set of rules.”

Thus sayeth UD: He who goes after a President for going down will himself go down.


And suddenly there appeared The President of the Baylor Men, praising football, and saying:

The laws of God, the laws of man,
He may keep that will and can;
Not I: let God and man decree
Laws for themselves and not for me;
And if my ways are not as theirs
Let them mind their own affairs.
Their deeds I judge and much condemn,
Yet when did I make laws for them?
Please yourselves, say I, and they
Need only look the other way.
But no, they will not; they must still
Wrest my rapists to their will,
And make me dance as they desire
With shame, disgrace, and getting fired.
And how am I to face the odds
Of man’s bedevilment and God’s?
I, a chancellor and afraid
In a world I never made.
They will be master, right or wrong;
Though both are foolish, both are strong.
And since, my soul, we cannot fly
To Saturn nor to Mercury,
Keep we must, if keep we can,
These foreign laws of God and man.

‘When Starr first took the job, he said last year, he visited Fred Cameron, a prominent lawyer and former member of the university’s board, and asked him for advice. “Win some football games,” Cameron replied.’

So pathetic, what’s happened to the American university. One prominent lawyer consults another about how to run a university and this is what he’s told.

UD was amused, later in the Inside Higher Ed account of The Passion of Ken Starr and (according to reports) The Impending Martyrdom Of The Athletic Department, to read that Baylor’s orgiastic adoration of football “has concerned some on campus, who worry that a university so focused on football could lose sight of its Baptist mission.” Don’t they understand what everyone else understands? That there’s no light between Football and Faith?

Oh beautiful Starr the hope of light
Guiding the players through their indict
All through the courts ’till break of dawn
Into the land of Next Game Day
He does give out a lovely ray
Oh beautiful Starr of Baylor shine on

When Baylor was winning football games and no one in a position of authority had yet been booted out because of arrant indifference to sexual assault, one of the trustees described life on campus as “like an early rapture.” What will the people of Baylor do now that other teams are lifted up and they remain behind in Tribulation?

UD‘s advice: Win some football games.

Twinkle twinkle little Starr

How I wonder what you are
Are you in or are you out?
What is Baylor’s board about?
Twinkle twinkle little Starr
How I wonder what you are.


UD thanks Van.

Starr Investigator on the Case

From Missouri’s unacceptable responses to multiple serious sexual-assault allegations in the last decade to Florida State’s head-in-the-sand approach to Jameis Winston, the go-to move has been to do nothing until the law forces your hand.
… If journalists at “Texas Monthly” had no trouble uncovering Ukwuachu’s past transgressions, a school whose president is former Whitewater prosecutor Ken Starr has no excuse.


This isn’t about one’s attitude toward [Bill] Clinton. He was wrong to do what he did and wronger still to lie about it. This is about the use of sexual morality as a political weapon. It is only ever used as such by right-wing hypocrites. Newt Gingrich was having an affair while he was carrying on about Clinton’s morality—an affair with the woman who became his third wife, whom serial adulterer Donald Trump appointed as our nation’s envoy to the Vatican! Balzac would have rejected this as a plot line that was beyond belief.

Michael Tomasky writes a brief, poignant farewell to Kenneth Starr (no link; here’s an earlier appreciation), who, in his guise as dirty rotten hypocrite prez of Baylor, often featured in these pages.

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