This is certainly a plot twist many likely didn’t see coming.
This past week, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL raised eyebrows, among other things, when it announced that disgraced former Baylor head coach Art Briles had been hired as the team’s offensive coordinator. The reaction to the announcement was swift and overwhelming, with the CFL team announcing a few hours later that “Briles will no longer be joining the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a coach.”
According to Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, a letter from BU, “which clearly states [its] support of its former coach,” helped convince the Tiger-Cats to hire Briles. The letter, dated May 23, 2017, and signed by the university’s general counsel, seemingly exonerates Briles from any alleged wrongdoing in the sexual assault scandal that rocked the football program and university and led to the firings of Briles, the athletic director and president.
As you speak with others regarding these issues, you can be assured you may make certain statements without fear of contradiction from Baylor based on the information currently known to us. In particular, at this time we are unaware of any situation where you personally had contact with anyone who directly reported to you being the victim of sexual assault or that you directly discouraged the victim of an alleged sexual assault from reporting to law enforcement or University officials. Nor are we aware of any situation where you played a student athlete who had been found responsible for sexual assault.
“We wish you the very best in your future endeavors.
The letter came nearly four months after Briles dropped his libel lawsuit against the university.
It also came six months after a BU regent made the explosive allegation that Briles was made aware in 2013 of a 2012 gang rape involving football players and a female student-athlete and didn’t report it to the proper authorities either at the university or in law enforcement. When then-current Bears assistant coaches and football staffers released a tweeted statement of support for Briles shortly thereafter, the university fired back in its own statement by reiterating that neither Briles nor any other athletics official “disclosed the reported sexual assault to Baylor’s Judicial Affairs or to anyone else outside of the Athletics Department” as they were required to by law.