If you’re a pariah in this country… and on this continent… perhaps another of the seven continents on this planet would allow you to at least attempt to begin the process of rehabilitating your battered and tarnished image.
That’s the situation Art Briles could very well find himself in, with the ousted former Baylor head coach reportedly drawing the interest of an American football team in Florence. And that’s not Florence, Ala., or Florence, Ill., or Florence, Penn., or even the Florence in Briles’ longtime home state of Texas. Rather, it’s Florence, Italy. As in Europe.
From Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
The President of the Guelfi Firenze American football team, which is located in Florence, Italy, reached out to me to find Briles.
Team representative Alessandro Dallai wrote to me, “I need a contact of coach Briles, if you have. I want give [sic] him a second chance.
“Tanks [sic], Alessandro Dallai.”
Briles was fired by Baylor in May of 2016 amidst a sexual assault scandal involving his Bears football program. In August of last year, the disgraced coach was hired by a CFL team; a couple of hours later, after the hiring was denounced by fans and sponsors, the organization announced that Briles would no longer be joining the team.
Since his dismissal, Briles has not found a job in the coaching profession — at least a permanent one.
In late January of 2017, damning details in one of the handful of the lawsuits facing Baylor 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 the former Bears head coach 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?”
The news of interest from the Italian football team came around the same time as Briles had reportedly discussed the head-coaching vacancy at Waco High School. That job in Briles’ old collegiate stomping grounds instead went to former Texas Longhorn football player Kwame Cavil.