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Baylor's Interim President Was Just Another Part of the Problem

A recent deposition reveals David Garland to be willfully ignorant at best, and a coward at worst.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The ongoing travesty at Baylor is an interminable reminder that it is always possible for people in power to be more corrupt, more depraved, and simply more apathetic toward the plight of actual human beings if it benefits themselves or the institution that signs their paychecks.

Today's example is brought to you by Baylor's former interim president David Garland, a certifiable ghoul who spent his last day in that job being deposed in a Title IX lawsuit filed on behalf of ten alleged victims of sexual assault. According to the Waco Tribune, Garland spent much of the May 31st meeting being questioned by attorney Jim Dunnam, going so far out of his way to dodge blame that he claimed to have no knowledge of, or even interest in, who is culpable for what has become one of the more disgusting coverups in the history of college athletics.


To wit:

Dunnam asked Garland at least 13 times if Garland was interested in learning which administrators discouraged rape victims from reporting the incidents. Garland repeatedly said he did not know who else it could possibly be, and at one point said he has not been concerned about the issue.

Somebody is liable, of course, and Garland wouldn't get appointed to captain this voyage of the damned if he were a total idiot. So Dunnam continued to press for specifics and Garland continued to plead ignorance in ways that were both implausible and insulting.

Who drafted the 13-page "findings of fact" document the regents released in 2016, that detailed Baylor's interpretation of what it called a "fundamental failure" in Title IX implementation across campus? Garland doesn't know.

Who verified that the document was even accurate? Garland doesn't know that, either.

Perhaps that's because Garland wouldn't even concede that there was a "fundamental failure" in the first place, instead arguing that Title IX cases were "handled inconsistently."

This one, though, is my personal favorite:

"When asked about the liability of Baylor regents, Garland said God ultimately holds them accountable."

Dunnam's assessment of Garland's deposition is that the now-former interim president was "willfully ignorant," which is hard to argue. With this sort of mentality, there is no reason to give Baylor any sort of benefit of the doubt that things will get better or that Baylor especially wants them to when they appoint a glorified hood ornament to pull the university together during its greatest crisis.

Garland was the interim guy, of course, so there's always the hope that Linda Livingston, Ken Starr's full-time successor, will actually be, you know, ethical. But here's one last question to go unanswered: Why should anyone trust Baylor got it right when David Garland is the kind of person they chose to lead when they needed to right the ship.