Art Briles resigns from Grambling State after hiring sparks outrage over Baylor scandal

Art Briles has stepped down from his role as offensive coordinator at Grambling State after just four days, the school confirmed Monday. Briles was announced as offensive coordinator on February 24 by Grambling State coach Hue Jackson, a move that immediately drew criticism.

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of your coaching staff at Grambling State University,” Briles said in a statement to Sports Illustrated. “Unfortunately, I feel my continued presence will be a distraction to you and your team, which is the last thing I want. I have the utmost respect [for] the university and your players.”

Briles was head coach at Baylor from 2008 to 2015 and was known as one of the best attacking minds in the country. The Bears went 65-37 with their first two Big 12 championships and New Year’s Bowl Six/BCS berths in program history.

However, Briles has not coached at the collegiate level since May 2016, when he was suspended and then fired after eight seasons following an independent investigation into Baylor’s handling of sexual assault allegations during his tenure. Pepper Hamilton LLP’s review found that Briles and his team did not properly handle Title IX issues in his team. Athletic director Ian McCaw and university president Ken Starr also resigned over the scandal.

An NCAA infraction panel ruled that Briles was not guilty of any NCAA violation as of August 2021. However, the panel concluded that Briles “failed to meet the most basic expectations of how a person should respond to the type of conduct at issue in this case.”

Jackson, a former NFL head coach, wasn’t deterred from becoming the first college coach to add Briles to his staff. He released a public statement through his Hue Jackson Foundation saying forgiveness, redemption and enlightenment were the key factors why Jackson, a longtime NFL caller, chose to hire the controversial Briles. .

“We have a clear understanding of the role coaches and others in a position of trust play in the loves of those they meet,” Jackson wrote. “We also know and understand the process of identifying risk, helping others heal and the importance of prevention. We believe that with the hiring of Coach Briles and the well-developed programs we have in place, this hire will be instrumental in teaching others about how to prevent victimization, proper reporting procedures, provide adequate resources to those who have been victimized, and develop strong enforcement partnerships. of the law in the community.

Grambling State released a statement to CBS Sports stressing that the statement was Jackson’s and did not reflect the school’s perspective.

“The Hue Jackson Foundation is not part of Grambling State University,” the statement said. “It is its own Foundation and acts independently of the University.”

Previously, former Southern Miss coach Jay Hopson was blocked from hiring Briles as offensive coordinator in 2019. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League also hired Briles in 2017 before bowing to pressure public. Briles coached an American football team in Italy in 2018 and later served as head coach at Mount Vernon High School in East Texas from 2019 to 2020.

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