Wednesday, the Texas Rangers confirmed that it has launched a preliminary investigation into Baylor’s handling of sexual assault allegations and whether there may have been a coverup. A day later, the man who was at the center of the controversy has spoken out defending his actions.
In a one-page letter obtained by KWTX-TV, Art Briles claimed that he was never party to any type of cover-up of sexual violence. Additionally, the former Bears head football coach called “full transparency” from the university.
“Let me be clear. I did not cover up sexual violence,” the letter reads. “Anyone well-versed in my work as a coach knows that I strove to promote excellence, but never at the sacrifice or safety for anyone. …
“Despite the insistence of certain people, I can remain silent no longer. There is an onslaught of information coming out in the press that is inaccurate, misleading, and unfair to Baylor, its amazing students, its strong faculty, the administration, and its athletic programs. …
“I did not obstruct justice on campus or off. When I was alerted that there might have been an assault, my response was clear: the alleged victims should go to police, report it and it should be prosecuted.”
In late January, damning details in one of the handful of the lawsuits facing the university emerged, with that suit alleging that 31 Bears football players had committed 52 acts of rape over a period of four years beginning in 2011.
Not long after, a legal filing connected to the libel lawsuit filed by a former BU football staffer produced emails and text messages that paint a picture of Briles and/or his assistants as unrestrained rogue elements concerned with nothing more than the image of the football program off the field and its performance on it. The details in that latest damning document dump included allegations that Briles attempted to circumvent BU’s “judicial affairs folks” when it came to one player’s arrest… and on Briles asking, in response to one of his players brandishing a gun on a female, “she reporting [it] to authorities?”… and asking “she a stripper?” when told one of his players expected a little something extra from a female masseuse… and stating in a text “we need to know who [the] supervisor is and get him to alert us first” in response to a player who was arrested on a drug charge because the apartment superintendent called the police.
In reference to a woman who alleged she was gang-raped by several Bears football players, Briles allegedly responded, “those are some bad dudes. Why was she around those guys?”
“I hope and pray that at some point, those feeding this disinformation will stop, and full disclose rather than messaging misdirection will take place,” Briles said in today’s letter.