Earlier today Baylor head coach Art Briles met with the media a day after defensive end Sam Ukwuachu was found guilty in the court of law for raping a former Baylor soccer player. During his time with the media, Briles suggested he had no reason to be aware of Ukwuachu’s violent past while at Boise State before the player transferred to Baylor. That put former Boise State head coach, and current Washington head coach, Chris Petersen in an awkward spot, leading him to release a statement saying he informed Briles of Ukwuachu’s background. With the ball back in Briles’ hand, and after Ukwuachu was sentenced in court, Briles issued one more statement to clarify his side of the story.
“I was contacted by Coach Petersen at Boise State in spring 2013 and he told me he had a player from Texas who needed to get closer to home and that he thought our program would be a good spot for him,” Briles said in a statement released via email Friday evening. “I know and respect Coach Petersen and he would never recommend a student-athlete to Baylor that he didn’t believe in. In our discussion, he did not disclose that there had been violence toward women, but he did tell me of a rocky relationship with his girlfriend which contributed to his depression. The only disciplinary action I was aware of were team-related issues, insubordination of coaches and missing practice.”
Had Briles said this much earlier on Friday, then perhaps some of the confusion could have been avoided, but Briles was focused on shifting the line of questioning to football at the time. In addition to the statement, Baylor also provided a scan of the transfer information request form filled out by Jenny Bellomy, Director Compliance at Boise State. On the question regarding whether or not Ukwuachu had been dismissed for disciplinary reasons, the former was marked “no,” which would help support the claims from Briles. It should be said that providing this form does not necessarily clear the air on this situation. The form specifically addresses whether or not a player was dismissed from the institution, and not the football team.
Well this settles it then. pic.twitter.com/6o8Qg3EB98
— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) August 21, 2015
Briles also said in his statement he had reached out to Ukwiuachu’s high school coach, which resulted in a positive review (as if any high school coach in the state of Texas was going to give Briles a poor review).
Ukwuachu was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation by a judge.