Tag Archives: Ken Starr

Mount Vernon HS grid coach brings trouble … who knew?

A part of me isn’t terribly surprised by the story that developed over yonder at Mount Vernon High School. Then again, is it fair to lay the responsibility of this tempest at the feet of the newly hired football coach? Oh, probably not.

But still …

Two Mount Vernon High School football players have been ruled ineligible to play. The school won’t suffer any forfeiture of games after playing these student-athletes during the team’s first five games of this football season. The University Interscholastic League had considered the forfeiture on the basis of the players enrolling at Mount Vernon simply to play football; the UIL thought differently. It won’t take away the first five wins from Mount Vernon, but the players remain ineligible.

Here, though, is where it gets weird. The new Mount Vernon HS head coach is Art Briles, the former head coach at Baylor University. Briles was fired in the wake of a sex scandal that occurred in Waco involving student-athletes who played for Briles. A law firm hired by Baylor determined that Briles should have acted to prevent the sexual assaults that were occurring, but didn’t.

The scandal also cost the athletic director his job as well as that of the president of the school, Kenneth Starr. Briles was shown the door. He coached football abroad for a couple of years before he got the call to coach Mount Vernon High School.

So, now he’s back in the game (so to speak) in this country. Granted, the eligibility issue concerning the two young men who were deemed ineligible has not a thing to do with the nature of the scandal that erupted at Baylor University.

It just seems to me that trouble seems to follow Art Briles.

Or … maybe it’s just a coincidence.

Strange, man.

Trump inaugural actually dwarfed Obama inaugural . . . yes, it did!

Donald Trump has bragged about the stupendous size of the crowd that witnessed his inauguration. He, um, misspoke, er, lied about it.

What he’s never bragged about is the amount of money he raised for an event that in truth was a good bit smaller, with less bling than either of the inaugurations of Barack Obama or George W. Bush.

And that has become yet another focus of federal prosecutors who are looking at this man’s presidency.

Trump reportedly raised $107 million for his 2017 inaugural. Compare that with the $53 million raised for Barack Obama’s 2009 inaugural, the one that heralded the start of a truly historic presidency.

The Obama inaugural featured headline artists galore, not to mention a crowd that totaled more than 1 million spectators. The Trump inaugural had, um, a lot fewer acts, a lot less pizzazz and drew a lot fewer spectators to watch the 45th president take the oath of office.

However, the Trump inaugural team banked a lot of cash.

That has presented prosecutors with a series of questions. Why did they raise so much money? For what purpose did the donors give that kind of dough? Is it all above board, legal, transparent? Did the new president’s team turn back any of it, the way Obama’s inaugural team did with some of the donations it received prior to the president taking office?

It looks to me as if we have a mushrooming investigation. It started with a look into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign with Russian operatives who interfered with our 2016 election. It appears to be spreading to include the president’s business dealings in Russia, along with the conduct of members of Trump’s transition team.

Hey, this kind of thing happens with these probes. Special prosecutor Ken Starr started looking at an allegedly shady real estate deal in Arkansas involving President and Mrs. Clinton; it veered into another area altogether, an inappropriate relationship between the president and a White House intern. Starr summoned the president to testify to a grand jury, the president lied to the grand jury about the relationship and, thus, handed congressional Republicans a pretext to impeach him.

Now we’re looking at inaugural fundraising?

Oh, brother. This is getting more confusing by the hour.

Ken Starr calls it quits at Baylor


Oh, the irony of it all.

Kenneth Starr has quit his job as a law professor at Baylor University. You’ve heard of him, yes?

He once was a special counsel who was hired by Congress to investigate a real estate deal involving President Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton. Then the investigation turned into something quite different. He began sniffing around about allegations of an affair between the president and a young White House intern.

His investigation resulted in the impeachment of the president on grounds that he lied under oath about the affair to a federal grand jury. The Senate acquitted Clinton.

Starr moved on, first to Pepperdine University and then to Baylor.

But … while he served as president of Baylor, the university got caught up — wait for it! — in a sex scandal involving star football players. The school was accused of covering up some serious misbehavior.

It all happened on Starr’s watch.


The head football coach was fired. The athletic director quit. Starr was demoted from president to chancellor. He kept his classroom job.

Now he’s quit the professor post, severing his ties with the university.

Do you get the irony? Sex propelled Ken Starr to a form of political stardom and sex has caused his fall from grace at a major Texas university.

As the saying goes: Karma’s a bitch, man.

Nix the talk about bringing back Baylor coach

Dear Baylor University Board of Regents:

I’ll get right to the point.

Do not even think for a moment about returning disgraced former head football coach Art Briles to the university that’s been scarred by his negligence.

There. I feel better already.

How quickly you seem to have forgotten about that nine-month investigation that concluded that under his watch, the Baylor football program “posed a risk to campus safety and the integrity of the University.”

The probe was damning on its face about the conduct of your athletic department in the face of the sexual assault convictions against two Baylor football players. Athletic officials covered it up … to their everlasting shame.

You did the right thing when you demoted university president Ken Starr; athletic director Ian McCaw’s resignation was correct, too.

Briles’ termination also was the right thing to do.

And yet …

We keep hearing about a high-dollar booster who wants to bring Briles back to the sidelines. Why? Probably because he produced a winning football program at the expense of the university’s stellar reputation.

You took no vote on Briles’ status. Fine.

Now take the next step and issue a formal statement declaring that there ain’t no way in the world the man’s coming back as head coach.

I’ll be waiting for your response.


Baylor announces much-needed reforms


It would seem logical to presume that an institution with Baylor University’s stellar reputation would be among the last places on Earth where one could expect to witness an unfolding sex scandal.

It’s a faith-based university known for its high moral standards. Isn’t that right?

It’s also known as a place where they play some pretty good college football.

So, some football players get entangled in a sexual assault case and the university allegedly turns its back on the complaints filed by students against the athletes.

The uproar has been ferocious. With absolutely justifiable reason.

Baylor now has announced plans to implement recommendations from a panel formed to fix what’s wrong at the school.


The Pepper Hamilton commission has found a “fundamental failure” at Baylor to uphold federal Title IX provisions that are supposed to protect students from abuses such as what occurred at the school.

One player has been convicted of sexual assault, but the stuff hit the fan after it was revealed that university administrators tried to hide the complaints against athletes.

Head football coach Art Briles was fired. University president Ken Starr was kicked out of his office and he quit his ceremonial job as chancellor; he remains on the faculty as a law professor.  Athletic director Ian McCaw resigned.

All three of those individuals had to go.

Now it’s up to Baylor to pick up the pieces of its shattered reputation.

The Texas Tribune reports: “Let me assure you all that we are deeply sorry for the harm done to students in our care,” interim president David Garland wrote in a letter posted online. “Even during the course of Pepper Hamilton’s investigation, we began adopting improvements to our processes, and now we are pursuing the other improvements remaining in the recommendations.”

Pressure is mounting for the school to release the contents of the Pepper Hamilton report.

That seems like a good start to clearing the air and shining the light of accountability on what has occurred at the school.

I’m sure that somewhere in that report is a stern warning that Baylor needs to heed to the letter in the future: Do not, under any circumstances, even think of covering up a report of sexual assault.

Ken Starr packs it in at Baylor


Ken Starr’s resignation as chancellor at Baylor University because of a sex scandal might be the biggest non-surprise since, oh, when he helped engineer the impeachment of President Clinton in a case that also involved a sex scandal.

Yes, the irony is rich.

Starr quit as chancellor after the Baylor regents kicked him out of his job as president of the university. The chancellor’s job is a ceremonial one, with no actual administrative duties. The regents’ decision was based on Starr’s role in the university covering up reports of sexual abuse on its campus involving members of the school’s top-tier football team.


Frankly, Starr ought to resign his other job at Baylor, as a law professor. His presence on the campus taints the school.

Former head football coach Art Briles was fired because of this scandal. Athletic Director Ian McCaw resigned after regents put him on probation because of the same scandal.

Regents kicked Starr out of his presidency because, as the “captain of the good ship Baylor,” he was ultimately responsible for all that occurs on the campus.

Starr professed “ignorance” regarding the many rape charges that have been filed against students at Baylor. Is that a sufficient defense? Of course not.

So, now he’s gone as chancellor, saying in an interview with ESPN, “We need to put this horrible experience behind us. We need to be honest.”

OK, professor, if honesty is what you want, how about just walking away from the campus altogether?

Doing so would enable himself a chance at a new start. Better still, it would give Baylor University a chance at renewal as well.


Another head rolls at Baylor


Another head has been lopped off — proverbially, of course — at Baylor University.

This time it belongs to the athletic director, Ian McCaw, who quit in the wake of the sex scandal that already has cost the school its president and its head football coach.

McCaw clearly had to go. He had been put on probation just as Baylor president Ken Starr was getting demoted and head coach Art Briles was put on “suspension” prior to being fired.

Why the shakeup? Oh, just that scandal involving Baylor’s mishandling of the sexual assault charges — and conviction — of football stars. The scandal has roiled the Waco campus and has caused — one should hope — a tremendous re-examination of the way the school handles such cases. In the cases involved in this scandal, the school seemingly sought to sweep them away, hoping no one would notice.

Baylor’s regents issued the usual statement of regret in announcing McCaw’s resignation: “We understand and accept this difficult decision by Ian McCaw to resign as Athletic Director and are grateful for his service to Baylor University. We also appreciate Ian’s commitment and involvement in bringing a person of integrity such as Jim Grobe to the University before making this decision.” Grobe has been named interim head football coach.

Whatever, the regents are seeking to cushion McCaw’s fall.

I don’t wish ill on the former AD, but this fellow ran an athletic department that includes the conduct of its premier revenue-producing sports activity.

As the saying goes, “The fish rots from the head down.”

Baylor University needs to take care of its business.

Is karma about to bite Kenneth Starr?

ken starr

Does anyone out there see the irony in reports that Kenneth Starr has been fired as president of Baylor University?

Baylor’s board of regents will announce soon whether reports of Starr’s dismissal are true.

Why all the fuss over Starr? Baylor University has been struggling with a sex scandal on campus and reports that school officials failed to take action when one of the school’s football players was accused of raping a female student. The athlete was convicted and other cases emerged in which Baylor officials allegedly failed to take proper action.

The incident and the ensuing scandal has swallowed up the school.


The irony is this …

Kenneth Starr is the very same fellow who more than 20 years ago launched an investigation into President Bill Clinton’s real estate dealings. Congress appointed him as a special prosecutor to probe the Whitewater investment matter.

Then something happened. Starr got wind of an inappropriate relationship that the president was having with a young female White House intern. That scandal grew as well. The investigation into a real estate matter morphed into something quite different, more salacious.

The president was summoned before a federal grand jury, which asked him about the relationship. The president, who swore to tell the truth, didn’t tell the truth and he was impeached for lying under oath.

Sex has this way of engulfing things, if you know what I mean.

I get that the cases are far from similar. Starr hasn’t been accused of doing anything improper here. He might take the fall, though, for others’ actions or inaction. He does run the university and as President Truman’s famous White House desk sign pointed out: The Buck Stops Here.

Still, as the saying goes: Karma can be a real drag, man.


Baylor joins universities to ban guns on campus


Another private institution of higher learning has made the correct call.

No guns will be allowed on our campus, according to the folks who run Baylor University.

Baylor President Ken Starr has announced that the school he leads won’t allow students or faculty to pack heat on the Waco campus.

It’s interesting to me that so many private schools have opted out of allowing open-carry of firearms. The law — which takes effect Aug. 1 — pertains to public colleges and universities, although the chancellor of the University of Texas System isn’t exactly a fan of open-carry legislation.

Baylor acts wisely

The private schools are lining up clearly against the law.

I understood the prevailing attitude among Texas legislators who voted to allow firearms to be carried openly in this state. I don’t have serious objection to the open carry law. I’m only a little bit queasy about it.

The college campus provision, though, does give me more serious pause.

The law allows Texans who are certified to carry concealed weapons to pack them in the open. Some foes of campus carry, though, have raised fair concerns: What about the student who gets a grade with which he or she disagrees — vehemently? Would that student react so badly as to do serious harm to the professor while carrying a firearm?

Baylor University has joined the list of private schools that have opted out of allowing guns to be carried openly on campus.



IRS controversy lives on … and on

The Internal Revenue Service controversy hasn’t yet blown up into a full-scale scandal, no matter how hard the right wing tries to make it so.

Now the talking heads and pols on the right are clamoring for a special counsel to investigate the matter. Recall, now, that it began with revelations that the IRS was vetting conservative political action groups’ requests for tax-exempt status. It does the same thing for liberal groups, too, but the conservative chattering class got all wound up over it and have raised a stink ever since.

Now there’s been further revelations about two years worth of emails that went missing from IRS honcho Lois Lerner’s computer. What the heck happened to them?

Republicans, not surprisingly, are trying to tie the IRS matter to the White House, even though no evidence has been uncovered that the IRS was doing anything under White House orders. They want to implicate the president — naturally! — for all this. So far they’ve come up empty.

A special prosecutor might be a good idea if Congress could limit the scope of his or her probe. The last notable special prosecutor hired was one Kenneth Starr, who was brought in to investigate the Whitewater real estate dealings involving President and Mrs. Clinton. Starr, though, went rogue and discovered the president had engaged in a tawdry relationship with a young White House intern.

The House of Reps impeached him because he lied to a federal grand jury about that relationship; the Senate acquitted the president at trial.

Is a special prosecutor needed in this case? I believe the GOP-led House of Representatives has looked thoroughly into this matter and has found zero evidence of White House complicity in anything involving the IRS.

That, of course, will not end the clamor.