Art Briles resigns from Grambling after 4 days on the job
Briles, the former Baylor coach fired for disregarding protocols in a player sexual-assault scandal, steps down as Grambling's offensive coordinator.
Art Briles, the former football coach Baylor University fired for disregarding protocols for investigating sexual assault allegations, has resigned from Grambling State University just four days after the Louisiana college hired him as an offensive coordinator.
Briles’ decision to leave the school comes just days after Doug Williams, a Super Bowl MVP and arguably Grambling’s most famous quarterback, said he could no longer support his alma mater.
ESPN reported about Briles’ departure from the school that, oddly, never announced Briles’ new position. Last Wednesday, a local news outlet reported that Grambling would hire Briles, but a spokesperson for the school denied the employment offer.
“There is no truth to this rumor,” the spokesperson said, according to the News-Star. “And I will not provide a statement regarding any false hires.”
The next day, Grambling responded affirmatively to press inquires about Briles’ new role at the school, but neither the athletic department nor head coach Hue Jackson, announced his hiring.
Briles, the former head football coach at Baylor University, was fired in May 2016 during a player sexual assault scandal.
Briles released a statement about his decision Monday that read: “Unfortunately, I feel that my continued presence will be a distraction to you and your team, which is the last thing that I want. I have the utmost respect [for] the university, and your players.”
According to a timeline published by ESPN, Briles failed to report allegations of sexual assault against Baylor football players — including one allegation by a female student that she was gang-raped by 10-12 football players.
A Canadian football league team hired Briles in 2017, but backed out of that decision within hours of announcing his employment, the Houston Chronicle reported. He later coached a team in Italy and a Texas high school.
Williams forcefully criticized Grambling’s decision in an interview last week with the Washington Post.
“I don’t know Art Briles; I’ve never met him in my life,” Williams told the Post. “But the situation, nobody else would hire him for whatever reason. I don’t know why Grambling State had to go be the one to hire him, so I’m not a fan at all.”
Williams added that his continued support of the school would indicate that he condoned the decision to hire Briles. Consequently, he said, he would no longer support the institution where he’d also served as a coach.
According to The Athletic, a source Monday told reporter Bruce Feldman, “Doug Williams has the influence to change things. … Doug has key people on campus that will do whatever he wants them to do.”
Through his foundation last week, the Hue Jackson Foundation — the coach justified the hiring of Briles citing forgiveness, redemption, and enlightenment. He has yet to release a statement on Briles’s departure.
On the subject of forgiveness, ESPN sportswriter David Hale shared a Twitter thread writing, in part, “Seeing this Art Briles situation play out has made me think a lot about Michael Vick. Because while we talk a lot about forgiveness and second chances in sports, I’m not sure anyone has offered the same template Vick did.”
He added, “Art Briles could do a lot of good by owning what he did wrong, talk about it, teach others to look at violence against women as abhorrent. That’s the starting point. But unlike Vick, Briles always focused on the finish line, when we all move on. I hope that day never comes.”
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