UT-Austin Sued Over Confederate Statue Removal

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By Alexandra HartAugust 25, 2017 2:41 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

A Confederate heritage group is suing the University of Texas at Austin over its removal of four statues. The Sons of Confederate Veterans filed the lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. Western District Court. They say UT-Austin President Greg Fenves broke the law by taking them down. And, they’ve launched similar suits against the university in the past.

“This isn’t the first time they’ve sued,” says Lauren McGaughey of the Dallas Morning News. “But this time they’ve brought on the descendants of a former UT regent who actually paid for the commission and placement of these statues.”

That first suit was filed back in 2015, after UT removed a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. But it was ultimately unsuccessful.

“A judge found that the statue was removed but it was placed in a placement of prominence in a museum on campus, which is what the donor of the statues actually wanted, was for them to be placed in a prominent location,” McGaughey says.

The judge also found that UT has the sole power to determine what happens to its monuments on campus.

But the Sons of Confederate Veterans say this time around, the situation is different.

“Now the plaintiffs are claiming this is different because the statues that were removed just a few days ago, some were Texas veterans and since they were, the state legislature and some historical commissions need to weigh in as well,” McGaughey says.

The statues in question are of three confederate military and political leaders, and one former Texas governor. They were situated around UT’s Main Mall, a prominent lawn on campus.

More than four thousand Texans are expected to receive millions of dollars in student loan relief.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced more than $17 million in debt forgiveness for students who attended schools operated by the now-bankrupt Corinthian College. Throughout Texas, most of those schools operated under the name Everest College, with campuses in Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio.

The Attorney General’s office says the for-profit school defrauded students with misleading lending practices.

The $17 million is part of an almost $200 million federal court settlement made with the now-defunct private investment firm Aequitas.

Texas is one of 13 states receiving debt relief for its students.

Manu Ginobili is officially back with the San Antonio Spurs, the team announced Thursday.

While the Spurs didn’t disclose the terms of the deal, Ginobili reportedly signed to a two-year, $5 million deal.

Ginobili said back in June that he planned to return for at least one more season, after an emotional sendoff at the end of playoffs from fans who thought he might retire.

He turned 40 last month – if he plays both years he signed for, he would be among the oldest players in NBA history. He’ll also be the eighth player to spend his entire career with the same team and play at least 16 seasons.

The Argentina native is considered one of the most successful international players in basketball history.