April 4, 2012: The Baylor vice president in charge of alumni relations, Tommye Lou Davis, forwards to Board of Regents chair Buddy Jones a BAA member e-mail celebrating the Lady Bears’ Basketball NCAA championship win. The pair trade succinct e-mails about their views of the BAA and the future of the Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center.
Tommye Lou Davis: They make me sick!
Buddy Jones: I hate them.
Davis: That makes two of us. Irrelevant twurps (sic)!
Jones: They are in my sight.
Davis: Can’t wait to tear that building DOWN!!!! If it is tied to the stadium, few will complain! (smiley-face symbol) How sweet it will be!
Dear BAA Members,
We want to update you on the status of the lawsuit Baylor University filed against the Baylor Alumni Association (BAA) and to share with you some important evidence uncovered during the ongoing discovery phase of the case. My predecessor Keith Starr and I believe it is important that BAA members be fully informed about the status of the litigation, how the evidence is developing in advance of the January 2016 trial date, what we are learning about who caused this fight, what the fight is about, and why we believe the outcome of this litigation is important for those who believe that Baylor should honor its commitments and act with integrity.
Here is a link to a full Litigation Update. It provides a brief description of the lawsuit, which is in the discovery phase. Both sides have received thousands of pages of documents that they are reviewing. As a result of that process and some astonishing e-mails like the one highlighted above, the BAA today amended its original counterclaim to provide more clarity and even more factual support for its defenses and claims, including our claim that Baylor’s leaders acted fraudulently when they claimed to need to tear down the Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center to make way for McLane Stadium.
Both sides have also begun deposing witnesses who might be able to provide some perspective on what has happened over the past 13 years. The specifics of the testimony from those depositions cannot be disclosed at this time because Baylor has requested and received a protective order that prohibits disclosure of the transcripts for now. The BAA is following and will continue to follow the procedures outlined by the court to enable us to keep BAA members fully informed. In the meantime we can inform alumni who has actually been deposed to this point (and who is scheduled) and disclose documents that have not been designated as “Confidential.”
These documents cover a range of topics, including the university’s efforts in 2011 to reassign the BAA’s tailgate for Homecoming from its customary spot in Touchdown Alley to a remote location at the Hart-Patterson track complex; the decision to demolish the Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center; Buddy Jones’ anger over the traditional presentation of the BAA’s Herbert Reynolds Award at Homecoming and his targeting of the BAA itself; and discussions among senior Baylor leaders regarding their concerns about Buddy Jones’ fixation on the BAA.
The Litigation Update includes links to the e-mails in question so that readers can see for themselves the context in which they were written (i.e., you can rest assured we were not selective about choosing sentences within the e-mails out of context). Please keep in mind that this is only a sample of the e-mails that we have received (and expect to receive in the near future).
We will continue to keep our members informed as the lawsuit progresses. We are represented by outstanding legal counsel: Shannon Ratliff of Austin and J.D. Pauerstein of San Antonio. They are highly respected lawyers who are defending the BAA with great skill.
If you have comments or questions, please feel free to express them in the Comments section either here or in the Litigation Update itself. All we ask is that your comments encourage a thoughtful, respectful debate. We will not publish anonymous comments. Also, you can call or e-mail me directly, in which case you don’t have to be thoughtful or respectful. Feel free to let me have it. My email address is [email protected] and my phone number is (512) 617-5562.