While the fallout of the scandal within the Baylor football program continues to have a ripple effect, one former assistant coach under disgraced former head coach Art Briles continues to hold his head as high as possible as he gets ready to open the spring with a new football program. Phil Bennett, now the defensive coordinator at Arizona State, remains confident his name will not be sullied as he aims to turn a page on his career.
“The reason I’ve stayed in this business for 40 years is I’ve never compromised my integrity,” Bennett said according to ESPN.com. “[I’ve] learned every place I’ve been.”
Bennett still seems to struggle to come to grips entirely with what went down at Baylor with players accused of sexual assault and coaches actively attempting to cover things up. To date, Bennett has not been attached to any of the misdeeds that have been documented so far in Waco, and a full vetting process by Arizona State cleared Bennett for being hired to lead the defense under head coach Todd Graham.
“Obviously, he wouldn’t be employed here if he didn’t go through the vetting process and we didn’t get approval,” Graham said, per ESPN.com.
Despite a full vetting process, it will be nearly impossible for Bennett to dodge questions about what has happened at Baylor, although he will make every attempt to set his emotions aside and focus on what’s next for him and Arizona State.
“I just know what I experienced there, that’s all I can talk about,” Bennett said. “I’m trying to move to the future. Right now, anything you say stirs it up.”