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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Cosby to Speak at Baylor University

Aired September 4, 2003 - 19:27   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, perhaps it's not the venue you expect to see Bill Cosby, Baylor University. The school has been in the media spotlight since basketball player Patrick Dennehy was murdered over the summer and his teammate, Carlton Dotson, arrested for the crime.
Cosby believes that shouldn't define the school and so he's leading what he calls a pep rally tonight. We'll hear from Cosby in just a moment.

First this report from our Ed Lavandera.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A summer of scandal hasn't dampened the spirits of Baylor's marching band. Thoughts are on football games and halftime shows.

These students feel they've been answering the same question over and over all summer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was at home over the summer and everybody was all, like, "What's wrong with Baylor? What's going on with Baylor?"

LAVANDERA: But with the start of classes, most students say the worst is behind them.

CHAD WARE, BAYLOR STUDENT: We're not really centered on all the negative aspects of Baylor. Yes, this is the roughest year for Baylor that I know of and I don't see how that kind of outside influence could affect what we're doing around here because we have a very, very tight knit community.

LAVANDERA: David Berchelman is a freshman. He admits the murder of a basketball player, a teammate accused of that murder and the disturbing revelations of what happened behind the scenes in the basketball program left him a little confused about coming to Baylor.

DAVID BERCHELMAN, BAYLOR STUDENT: For awhile I didn't know what to think. Like I picked this university and I know its reputation. And then I thought about it and I was like, well, everybody at school has its down time.

LAVANDERA: That's the message Lacy Elwood wants the student newspaper to deliver. As the paper's editor, Elwood doesn't want one story to define the entire school. LACY ELWOOD, EDITOR, BAYLOR STUDENT NEWSPAPER: A lot of people just want to make sure that Baylor is represented as it always has been and that nothing has changed in the eyes of the nation. That we're still the same university we've always been.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: We're here live at Floyd Casey Stadium. This is where Baylor University football team plays its games. The stands starting to fill up. Bill Cosby will be arriving here in about an hour and a half.

He has said that he's coming here to this university to speak to the students and faculty because he wants to cheer them up. But quite frankly, after spending a couple of days here on the Baylor campus, talking with students, there aren't a whole lot of people that need to be cheered up. They're just excited about a brand new school year -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Well, good for them.

Meanwhile, with the investigation, any new developments on that you can tell us about or about the governor's expedition order to try to get Carlton Dotson back in Texas?

LAVANDERA: Absolutely. The governor of Texas signing an expedition order here in the last couple of days. That will speed up the process, prosecutors here in Waco believe, for the return of Carlton Dotson back to Texas and they believe that will happen in the next -- within the next couple of months.

KAGAN: All right. Ed, thank you for that.

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