As Baylor continues to face serious questions about the sexual assault scandal that has rocked its football program, the university's board of regents is reportedly mulling the future of coach Art Briles, who last month was suspended with "intent to terminate."
Sources told Outside the Lines that several large Baylor financial donors are pressuring the regents to reinstate Briles as coach with a one-year suspension, which would allow him to return to the sideline for the 2017 season.
As Baylor's governing body, the board of regents will ultimately decide Briles' fate. The 34 voting regents include two of the country's highest-paid CEOs, several of Texas' richest oil and gas businessmen, some of the state's top attorneys and a handful of Baptist pastors and former Bears football players.
According to the university's web site, regents are selected by election, with 75 percent of the membership elected by the regents themselves and 25 percent elected by the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Regents serve a three-year term, and may serve up to three terms consecutively before rotating off the board for at least one year.
Most of the regents earned at least one academic degree from Baylor. The first non-Baptists Christians - former newspaper publisher Clifton Robinson and oil and gas executive Ken Carlisle -- were elected to the board in 2011.
Baylor's board has grown quickly during the past several years; in 2009 there were 24 regents. In comparison, the University of Texas System board of regents, which oversees eight academic campuses and six health schools, has nine regents and one student regent, who are appointed by the Texas governor and confirmed by the state senate.
Other Texas private universities have similarly large governing boards: TCU's board of trustees has 50 members and SMU's board of trustees has 42 members.
Baylor's regents have declined repeated interview requests over the past several weeks. A source told Outside the Lines that the regents are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement when they're elected to the board.
Here's a closer look at the people who make up Baylor's board of regents:
Jay Allison: A three-year football letterman and member of Grant Teaff's 1974 Southwest Conference championship team, Allison and his wife, Jenny, are among Baylor's biggest athletics donors. The football team's indoor practice facility is named in their honor, and they also have endowed football scholarships and helped finance skyboxes at the baseball stadium and the school's basketball hall of fame. Allison is chairman, president and CEO of Comstock Resources, an oil and gas exploration company with more than $2.4 billion in assets. He has a bachelor's degree in accounting, a master's degree and a law degree from Baylor.
Joel T. Allison: A 1970 graduate of Baylor, Allison is the CEO of Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas. According to the company's tax records, he received more than $3 million in compensation in 2014. He has bachelor's degrees in journalism and religion from Baylor.
Robert E. Beauchamp: He is the president and CEO of Houston-based BMC Software, one of the world's largest computer software companies. Forbes listed him among the country's highest-paid CEOs with annual compensation of more than $19.8 million in 2012. In 2013, he and his wife, Laura, donated $3 million to Baylor toward construction of the Beauchamp Athletic Nutrition Center for student-athlete wellness.
Linda Jean Brian: Brian, a former director of counseling for the Amarillo (Texas) Independent School District, was appointed to the board by the Baptist General Convention of Texas in 2009. She earned a bachelor's degree from Baylor in 1969.
Ken Carlile: A former dentist, Carlile is co-owner of The Carlile Companies and Camterra Resources Inc., which are oil and gas companies. The atrium of Baylor's Sciences Building is named in honor of Carlile and his wife, Celia. He has a bachelor's degree, a doctorate in dental surgery and a doctorate in geology from Baylor.
Daniel Chapman: Chapman is one of three new regents who were appointed by the Baylor Alumni Association. He is a commercial banker and chairman of the board of First Private Bank of Texas in Dallas. He has a bachelor's degree and an MBA from Baylor.
Jerry Clements: She is the chair of Locke Lord, a Texas-based global law firm with offices in 23 cities around the world. In 2015, the Baylor Law Alumni Association named her Baylor Lawyer of the Year, the first time in 53 years a woman received the honor. She has a law degree from Baylor.
Jennifer Walker Elrod: A graduate of Baylor and Harvard Law School, Elrod was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2007 to be a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans. Prior to her confirmation, she was twice elected judge of the 190th District Court of Harris County, Texas.
Wayne Fisher: A new regent, who was elected by the Baylor Alumni Association, Fisher is a trial lawyer in Houston and past president of the State Bar of Texas. In 2004, he defended Baylor in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the father of Patrick Dennehy, a Bears basketball player who was murdered by his teammate in 2003. Fisher has a law degree from Baylor.
Shelley Giglio: She is the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta and co-founder of the Passion Movement, a Christian-based organization that hosts conferences for college-aged people around the world. She is also chief strategist, director of label operations and artist management for sixstepsrecords, an Atlanta-based record label. She has a bachelor's in business administration from Baylor.
James Cary Gray: Gray is president and managing partner of Gray Reed & McGraw, a Houston-based law firm. He also has a bachelor's degree in accounting and a law degree from Baylor.
David Harper: A graduate of Baylor and Harvard Law School, Harper is a partner at Haynes and Boone, an international corporate law firm with offices in Dallas.
Larry Heard: Heard is the president and CEO of Transwestern Development Company, a Houston-based commercial real estate company. His son, John, was a walk-on basketball player at Baylor. Larry received a bachelor's degree in finance from Baylor.
Milton Hixson: A 1972 Baylor graduate, Hixson founded Financial Management Professionals, a high-wealth planning company in Austin, Texas. Hixson was selected for the board by the Baptist General Convention of Texas He has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Baylor.
Dan Hord III: Hord is a partner in HEDLOC Investment Co. LLC, an oil and gas company, and Western Property Group, a commercial property development and leasing firm, both located in Midland, Texas. He holds bachelor's degrees in entrepreneurship and marketing from Baylor.
Christopher Howard: Howard, who had no prior educational ties to Baylor when he was named to the board in 2013, is the president of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Howard was named the winner of the inaugural Campbell Trophy as college football's top scholar-athlete in 1990 and was also a Rhodes scholar. He served as a helicopter pilot in the Air Force and earned a Bronze Star in Afghanistan.
Mark Hurd: A former Baylor tennis player, Hurd is co-CEO of software giant Oracle -- where, according to Fortune, he earned more than $40 million in his first year -- and past chairman, CEO and president of Hewlett-Packard. He has donated money to help upgrade and renovate Baylor's tennis facilities, which are now named in his honor. He has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Baylor.
Neal Jeffrey: Jeffrey is associate pastor of pastoral and preaching ministries at Prestonwood Baptist Church, a megachurch in Plano, Texas, with more than 41,000 members. The former Baylor quarterback was drafted in 1975 by the San Diego Chargers where he played one season.
Mark Lovvorn: Lovvorn is chairman and CEO of Providence Bancshares Corporation and its subsidiary Providence Bank of Texas, with a history of executive roles in other Dallas-area banks. He's a Baylor graduate with degrees in business administration and accounting.
Mark McCollum: McCollum is executive vice president and chief integration officer for Houston-based Halliburton, a publicly traded global oil and energy company with, according to Forbes, a market value of more than $35 billion. Prior to that, he was an executive with Tenneco Automotive and a partner at accounting firm Arthur Anderson. He has a business administration degree from Baylor.
Ronald Dean Murff: Murff, who became chairman of the board of regents on June 1, is a principal of Dalcor Companies, president of the related JKL Group and co-manager of Dalcor Holdings, which are all Dallas-based entities in real estate, investment and property management. He had been the top financial and accounting officer of Guaranty Financial Group, whose Guaranty Bank was Texas' second-largest until its collapse in 2009 amid the crash of the home lending market. He has a business administration degree from Baylor.
Randolph (Randy) Pullin: Pullin is the chief financial officer with Stedman West Interests Inc., which manages oil and gas interests in Texas. According to Baylor's website, he also served on the presidential search advisory committee that recommended Ken Starr, who was removed as president because of the scandal and who subsequently resigned as chancellor. He has a business administration degree from Baylor.
Jeffrey Reeter: Reeter is managing partner with Northwestern Mutual in Houston, which provides investment and wealth management services. He has been with the company since 1984. He has a business degree from Baylor and was a wide receiver on the football team.
William K. Robbins: Robbins started the North American Corporation, which focuses on consulting and investments and the oil and gas industries. He is a Korean War veteran, has served on boards for many U.S. and foreign companies, and he and his wife, Mary Jo, have been noted for their global philanthropy. Robbins has bachelor's and law degrees from Baylor.
Clifton Robinson: In 1964, Robinson founded the National Lloyds Insurance Company, which specializes in property insurance. It was sold to Dallas-based Hilltop Holdings, for which Robinson now serves as a director. In 2009, Robinson purchased the Waco Tribune-Herald, and he sold it to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in 2012. He has a business administration degree from Baylor.
Mark Rountree: Rountree is a certified public accountant and a partner at EY (Ernst & Young) in Dallas. He is one of the board's newest members. He has a business administration and master's of taxation degree from Baylor.
William (Bill) S. Simon: Simon was the president and chief executive officer of Walmart U.S. from 2010 until he stepped down in 2014. He was previously an executive at Brinker International and appointed by former-Gov. Jeb Bush to secretary of the Florida Department of Management Services. He spent 25 years in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve. He is currently an adjunct professor at Baylor. He has a business administration degree and an MBA from the University of Connecticut.
Kim Wilson Stevens: Stevens is the CEO of Blue Scout Media, a Waco, Texas-based company that streams live events online, including concerts, corporate functions and conferences. Her parents made a $2 million contribution to endow a chair in religious freedom at Baylor. She has a bachelor's degree in education from Baylor.
Philip Stewart: Stewart is president and partner of Terravista Corporation, a San Antonio real estate holdings company, and a retired attorney. He has a bachelor's degree and a law degree from Baylor.
Julie Hermansen Turner: Turner and her husband, Jim, are among Baylor's biggest financial contributors. They developed several beverages bottling companies, including Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, which they sold in 2005. She has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in physical education from Baylor, and taught at the university for two years. Her husband was an All-Southwest Conference guard on Baylor's basketball team.
Dennis Ray Wiles: One of Baylor's newer regents, Wiles is senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Arlington, Texas. The Baptist General Convention of Texas appointed him to the board in 2014.
Richard Willis: Willis was chairman of the board of regents for four consecutive years before stepping down on June 1. He is the president and CEO of Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy in Boulder, Colorado, and previously was an executive with several Web-based and magazine publishing companies. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in business administration from Baylor University.
Ronald L. Wilson: According to Baylor's website, Wilson is a physician in Waco specializing in nephrology and internal medicine. He has his bachelor of arts and medical degree from Baylor. He served nine years in the Air Force.
Kathy Wills Wright: Wright, a former senior vice president for strategic initiatives at Baylor, held several political appointments in President George W. Bush's administration. Among other roles, she was acting director and deputy director of the USA Freedom Corps and special assistant to the president for legislation and policy in the White House office of faith-based and community initiatives. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Baylor.