As reported by ESPN, Baylor University has fired its head football coach Art Briles following allegations and reports that Briles and multiple other members of the Baylor administration failed to address and discipline football players for domestic violence and sexual assault incidents. The allegations made against the University and the school’s football program have ramped up rapidly over the last few months after multiple former and current Baylor students who allegedly fell victim to domestic and sexual assaults by Baylor football players came forward and spoke to ESPN’s Outside The Lines about the school’s handling of the matters. Multiple reports and statements from victims have suggested that many Baylor officials, including members of the school’s athletic coaching staffs, knew about the incidents but failed to properly take action.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 26, 2016
The firing of Briles comes as Baylor awaits a report from an investigation done by an independent Philadelphia-based law firm into the school’s handling of these sexual assaults and domestic violence cases. Briles leaves Baylor with a 50-15 record, winning 10 games or more in four of the last five seasons. Many have credited Briles for revitalizing the Baylor football program, as the Bears suffered 12 consecutive losing seasons before Briles arrived in December of 2007. Since taking over, Briles has won two Big 12 titles (2013 and 2014), with the 2013 title being Baylor’s first outright conference championship since 1980.
With the allegations against Art Briles and Baylor University, it was only a matter of time until somebody fell under the bus, and right now, that is Art Briles. A major division one college football program in Texas that came from the bottom of the barrel and turned into a national powerhouse doing all that they can in order to cover up serious crimes by its players in order to stay atop the Big 12 is certainly sickening to think about, but sadly, it doesn’t seem all that out of characteristic. The rise of the Baylor football program from the basement of college football wasn’t all built upon lies, as the majority of their players were not out terrorizing and raping women. But, the fact that Art Briles and the Baylor administration let this type of inexcusable behavior go on under their watch for so long is absolutely unacceptable. Given the nature of these offenses, it would be shocking if Art Briles ever got a job coaching college football ever again, and it’s a shame because he is one heck of a play caller. But, actions and in this case non-actions off the field speak more than success on the field. It’s also not too irrational to believe that the train stops here, either, as more firings are probably coming at Baylor in the coming days. Ken Starr is next.
Photo Credits: Youtube: CampusInsiders (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BCwdzK8cVk)