Former Baylor University football program staffer Colin Shillinglaw dropped a lawsuit against the university and key officials Thursday and will work to solve his dispute through arbitration, according to his lawyer.
In the suit, Shillinglaw had accused the university of libel, slander and conspiracy, along with interim President David Garland, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Reagan Ramsower, board of regents Chairman Ron Murff, Regent J. Cary Gray, Regent David Harper and Regent Dennis Wiles.
The suit also named Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP as a defendant. The firm conducted a nine-month investigation into Baylor’s responses to sexual violence.
Pursuit of Shillinglaw’s claims through arbitration will speed up resolution, Shillinglaw’s lawyer Gaines West said.
Shillinglaw was fired this summer amid the shakeup that followed Pepper Hamilton’s investigation, which included the firings of Ken Starr as president and Art Briles as head football coach and the resignation of Athletics Director Ian McCaw.
“It will not allow these defendants to escape responsibility by using delaying tactics through the courts that could last for many years,” West said in a statement.
Shillinglaw’s suit prompted an answer from Murff, Gray and Harper that accused Briles and other top athletics staffers of covering up crimes and improperly handling reports of sexual violence by football players.
On Thursday, West said Shillinglaw “never participated in any such conduct, yet now he is forced to spend thousands of dollars to restore his personal and professional reputation that was destroyed by Baylor, its regents and the so-called independent investigation by the Pepper Hamilton lawyers.”
Shillinglaw’s employment agreement with Baylor requires disputes to be settled by arbitration, and Shillinglaw, former assistant athletic director of football operations, is eager to tell his side of the story, West said.
“Today’s action ensures that this goal will happen sooner rather than much later,” West said.
Baylor still faces six Title IX lawsuits, and Pepper Hamilton faces a libel lawsuit from another fired athletics staffer.