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Art Briles, Who Coached Baylor During Sexual Assault Scandal, Is Hired at Grambling State

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Art Briles, the previous Baylor football coach who was fired in 2016 after a university investigation found that he and other coaches botched sexual assault accusations levied against football players, was hired Thursday as Grambling State University’s offensive coordinator, school officials said.

Briles had not coached in college football since his ousting from Baylor, but he was the top football coach at Mount Vernon High School in Texas before resigning in 2020. Briles, 66, also coached football in Florence, Italy, in 2018.

Briles’s hiring at Louisiana’s Grambling State, some of the popular historically Black colleges in america, immediately raised questions on this system’s culture under Hue Jackson, the previous Cleveland Browns head coach who was hired to guide the university’s football program in December.

Brian Howard, a spokesman for the athletic department, said it could not formally announce the hiring of Briles or discuss its reasons for bringing him back into college football. Howard added that Briles was interviewed by a reporter from a local television station and discussed a number of the controversy surrounding his time at Baylor. The segment featuring Briles was scheduled to air on Thursday evening.

The sexual assault scandal marred Baylor for much of the 2010s as its football program brought hundreds of thousands of dollars to the university. A damning report by an out of doors law firm included quite a few sexual assault allegations against football players — accusations that were often intentionally not reported to the correct authorities. The investigation found that Baylor instituted “a cultural perception that football was above the foundations.”

In response, the university’s president, Kenneth Starr, was demoted to chancellor and eventually departed. The athletic director, Ian McCaw, who now holds the identical position at Liberty University, resigned. And Briles was fired.

The university reached settlements with several women who reported harassment or assault and brought claims under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the premise of sex at universities.

Last 12 months, nonetheless, the N.C.A.A. ruled that Baylor didn’t violate its rules when it didn’t report the sexual assault allegations, despite even the university’s own acknowledgment of repeated errors surrounding the scandals. A committee wrote that the allegations against members of Baylor’s football program, a few of which led to criminal cases and convictions, didn’t only affect student-athletes, and as an alternative took place in a “campuswide culture of sexual violence.” Since the allegations weren’t limited to only student-athletes, the committee concluded that it couldn’t punish the university for a violation of N.C.A.A. rules.

After the firing, Briles apologized and acknowledged that he “made mistakes.” He said that in hindsight, he would have handled things in another way at Baylor, where he had a 65-37 record and took a once insignificant program to 2 Big 12 championships.

In 2017, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League hired Briles as an assistant coach, but lower than 24 hours later, after receiving widespread public backlash, they reneged and announced that he wouldn’t join the team.

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