President Sloan July 28 Statement On Patrick DennehyJuly 28, 2003
Baylor University President Robert B. Sloan Jr. released the following statement July 28 regarding the latest developments in the Patrick Dennehy case. A videotaped statement also is available at BaylorTV.com.
"Late last night our worst fears were realized when the body of missing Baylor student-athlete Patrick Dennehy was positively identified. Baylor has endured the heart-wrenching loss of students before, but never in such a startling and perplexing manner. A tragedy of this sort could happen anywhere, but this one happened at Baylor. We grieve the loss of Patrick and the impact of that loss on his family and friends and on the Baylor community.
"Character is not defined in times of crisis - it is revealed. Baylor's community has always been one of faith and of prayer, and it is precisely in desperate circumstances that such ties truly bind. Last night I called on our entire Baylor family to pray for the family of Patrick Dennehy.
"Additionally, I asked for prayer on behalf of the family of former student-athlete Carlton Dotson, who has been charged with murdering Patrick. We also need to pray for the faculty, staff and students at Baylor, and the entire Central Texas community, on whom this whole saga has taken such a tragic toll.
"We still have many unanswered questions. All we know for certain today is that a young man with a promising future - a member of our family - is no longer with us and a former teammate and friend has been charged with murder. Understandably, situations like these generate rumors and speculation. Baylor University will continue to assist the authorities in every way possible to get answers to the important questions that are being asked. In the meantime, I would appeal to our constituents, the media and the general public to exercise restraint in reaching conclusions based on hearsay and speculation.
"Claims of impropriety in our men's basketball program are among the allegations that have been made in recent days. Nothing in the long and distinguished coaching career of Dave Bliss would support such allegations, and we have no reason to believe that such NCAA infractions did indeed occur. However, we take the accusations very seriously. In keeping with established University policy, I have appointed an investigative committee composed of Baylor Law School professors Bill Underwood, David Guinn and Mike Rogers to perform a full and credible review of our men's basketball program. Former Austin mayor and Baylor alumnus Kirk Watson has been retained as outside counsel to the committee. Integrity is the cornerstone on which our entire athletics program is built, and we will spare no effort to determine if that commitment was compromised in any way.
"Early in September - when all of our students, faculty and staff return to campus for the fall semester- we will hold a memorial service for Patrick Dennehy. This will be a time when the Baylor community can come together and remember Patrick, find comfort, and pray for healing. In the meantime, we seek strength from our Lord and unity in our community of faith to sustain us in this period of unspeakable grief."