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Report: Art Briles was paid $15.1 million by Baylor a month after firing

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Even in the midst of one of the worst scandals in college football history, Art Briles still got paid.

It had previously been reported that Briles and Baylor had reached on an agreement on a  contract settlement, although the dollar amount involved wasn’t disclosed. Friday night, citing Baylor’s IRS filings, Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News is reporting that, one month after Briles was fired as the university’s head football coach Memorial Day weekend of 2016, BU paid the disgraced head coach a $15.1 million settlement.  That figure, as obscene as it is given the controversial nature of his departure, is actually a bargain for the university as Briles still had eight years and $39 million remaining on his contract when he was dismissed amidst a sexual assault scandal involving his Bears football program.

In late January of 2017, 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 a 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?

While Briles parted ways with the program May 26, his termination wasn’t official until a month later.  In a press release sent out on June 24 of 2016, Baylor announced that it and Briles “have mutually agreed to terminate their employment relationship.” In the release, the university mentions “[b]oth parties acknowledge that there were serious shortcomings in the response to reports of sexual violence by some student-athletes.”

Still considered a pariah by many, Briles has not held a coaching job since that “mutual termination” nearly two years ago.

In August of last year, it was reported that Lane Kiffin was informally using Briles to help him with his Florida Atlantic offense; the very next day, the FAU head coach very publicly stated Briles is “absolutely not a consultant” for his team.  In September of last year, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL raised eyebrows, among other things, when it announced that Briles had been hired as the team’s offensive coordinator; a few hours later, the team announced that “Briles will no longer be joining the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a coach.” In January of this year, it was reported that Briles would be one of the guest speakers at the annual American Football Coaches Association Convention in Charlotte; the next day, following a wave of criticism over the impending appearance, the AFCA did a 180-degree turn and canceled Briles’ session with the coaches in attendance.

Tulsa replaces assistant lost to K-State with ex-Baylor CBs coach

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A month and a half after losing an assistant to a Power Five program, Philip Montgomery has found a replacement.

In a press release, Tulsa announced that Carlton Buckels has been hired by Montgomery as part of his 10-man Golden Hurricane coaching staff. Buckels will serve as Montgomery’s safeties coach.

A former defensive back at LSU and a Louisiana native, Buckels started his coaching career at his alma mater as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban. This past season, Buckels was the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Div. III Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi.

In between, Buckels’ coaching career included stops at Delta State, Southeastern Louisiana, New Mexico State, North Texas and Baylor. He spent six seasons (2011-16) as the cornerbacks coach with Art Briles‘ Bears, with his time in Waco coinciding with a portion of Montgomery’s stint as BU’s offensive coordinator.

Below is Montgomery’s statement on the addition of Buckels:

Coach Buckels is a well-respected coach. He brings solid experience and knowledge to our secondary. He’s a great players coach and is a guy that I believe will fit in well with our staff. As we do some different things schematically, Carlton brings new and fresh ideas to help us continue moving in the direction we want to go.”

“We’ve expanded our recruiting blueprint into Louisiana the last couple of years, and I’m excited that Coach Buckels can really help us in the recruitment of the state. He’s originally from Louisiana, played at LSU and has great ties in the state that will allow us to gain a strong foothold into Louisiana. It’s a state that has a ton of talent, not just skilled talent, but younger big kids that would have an opportunity to help us on the football field.

“Coach Buckels is a great family man. We’re excited to have Carlton and his family be part of our Tulsa football family.

Baylor dismisses LB Eric Ogor for ‘repeated violations of… policies’

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The culture within the Baylor football program may be changing, but the headlines still have some catching up to do.

This weekend, Matt Rhule confirmed that rising redshirt junior linebacker Eric Ogor has been dismissed from the team. Ogor was one of four players who had been suspended by the head coach; the other three, redshirt freshman safeties Tre’von Lewis and John Arthur and redshirt freshman defensive end Justin Harris, remain with the team, albeit still under suspension.

Rhule declined to delve into the specifics of Ogor’s dismissal.

“Not one single thing, just repeated violations of athletic department policies,” the head coach said by way of KWTX-TV when asked about why Ogor was given the boot.

Last season in 10 games, Ogor was credited with 6.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. Those numbers were both good for fifth on the Bears.

In February, it was reported that three members of the Baylor football team are under investigation for suspected sexual assault. The allegations stemming from the incident involve three redshirt freshman Bears football players and members of the university’s equestrian team.

The identities of the three players involved in that investigation have never been confirmed by the university or team, although Rhule did acknowledge earlier this month that the suspensions meted out to Arthur, Harris and Lewis were “based on a decision by a university committee that handles allegations surrounding player conduct.”

Report: Former NC State QB Jalan McClendon Baylor-bound as graduate transfer

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When Ryan Finley announced he would put off the NFL Draft in order to spend his senior season at NC State, Jalan McClendon announced he would not spend his own senior year backing up Finley.

Now we reportedly know where McClendon will spend his final season.

According to Yahoo‘s Pete Thamel, McClendon will pursue a graduate transfer to Baylor.

A Charlotte native, McClendon appeared in 21 career games as a Wolfpack. He completed 26-of-47 passes (55.3 percent) for 262 yards with one touchdown against four interceptions while rushing 40 times for 156 yards and two touchdowns.

At Baylor, McClendon will step into a depth chart with a hole left by a transfer of its own. The Bears spent 2017 juggling their QB1 spot between Arizona graduate transfer Anu Solomon, sophomore Zach Smith and freshman Charlie Brewer. Solomon graduated and Smith has transferred to Tulsa, meaning McClendon will have to compete with the rising sophomore and brother of former Texas Tech and Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Brewer. The younger Brewer was Baylor’s best signal caller in a downtrodden ’17 campaign, hitting 139-of-204 passes (68.1 percent) for 1,562 yards with 11 touchdowns against four interceptions.

With offensive line coach recovering from a broken hip, Baylor turns to former QB to fill in as coach during spring practice

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Spring practice has arrived in Waco and things are probably not off to the smooth start that Baylor head coach Matt Rhule was hoping for after a turbulent 2017 campaign.

In addition to suspending two players amidst sexual assault allegations, the program is dealing with being a coach short on the field for the next several weeks. That’s because offensive line coach George DeLeone is recovering from a broken hip and the ensuing surgery, resulting in former Bears quarterback Shawn Bell stepping into his spot to coach the big boys up front.

 

“And it’s because of his character and because of his patience and never really questioning anything,” Rhule told the school’s website of the change. “Luckily, there’s no egos with anybody there. I think George kind of hand-picked Shawn, saying he’s the right guy.”

Bell is currently an offensive analyst for the program and was hired when Rhule first arrived in Waco after several years as a head coach in the high school ranks in the state of Texas.