Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – Former Baylor University head football coach Art Briles released a statement Wednesday, after he said he could no longer “remain silent.”
Silent. He maybe should have remained.
Briles was fired in May of 2016. In September of 2016, Briles spoke to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi in a taped interview, and actually apologized for his role in the scandal that has now humiliated a once proud, institution.
“There were some bad things that happened under my watch, and for that, I’m sorry. I was wrong. I’m sorry. I’m going to learn. I’m going to get better,” Briles said.
What exactly was Briles apologizing for? What exactly happened that he felt the need in September to apologize for?
What happened in the 3 months between his firing and speaking with Rinaldi, that he’d felt he did wrong, and needed to get better at, that he doesn’t seem so sorry for in his statement released today?
“I did not cover-up any sexual violence. I had no contact with anyone that claimed to be a victim of sexual or domestic assault. Anyone well-versed in my work as a coach knows that I strove to promote excellence, but never at the sacrifice of safety for anyone,” Briles wrote. “I did not obstruct justice on campus or off.”
Short, concise and accurate is what Journalism professors often preach when delivering the news to the masses.
Is that what we are to believe from Briles’ statement today? That he is being truthful?
It seems as though he wanted us all to get the impression he was being truthful and apologetic last September, doesn’t it?
Well, which is it Art?
Do you want us to believe that you were wrong and sorry for the horrible acts of violence and crime that occurred under your watch? Or Do you want us to believe that no such thing could have occurred under your watch while you were busy “promoting excellence?”
It’s hard, and it’s going to get a helluva lot more difficult to look past the recently released and damning text messages from Briles and his then assistant coaches.
I’ll just take the last line of Briles’ statement released on Wednesday.
Briles states, “I did not obstruct justice on campus or off.”
According to the text messages, which were acquired by the law firm of Pepper Hamilton months ago, and just recently released, Briles texted now former Athletic Director Ian McCaw about protocol on what he was planning to do after learning a football player was arrested for assault and threatening to kill a non-athlete.
“Just talked to [the player] he said Waco PD was there – said they were going to keep it quiet – Wasn;t a set up deal…I’ll get Shill (Shillinglaw – former assistant coach) to ck on Sibley (local attorney.” AD McCaw replied, “That would be great if they kept it quiet!”
Whether or not Briles first-handedly interfered with the justice system, the text messages are evidence enough to point out that he single-handedly interfered with this thing called moral and ethical code.
Not necessarily the guy you want at such an important, impactful and influential position would you say?
While there are a number of examples of Briles and staff attempting or discussing skirting the authorities for player wrong-doings such as buying or selling drugs, indecent exposure and various assaults, to date, only two of Briles’ former players have been tried and convicted of sexual assault, while another is currently charged in a 2016 assault.
The crimes committed and alleged to have been committed are discouraging for student-athletes on any campus. The intent to dissuade and attempt to discourage proper punishment for these awful acts at Baylor under Briles’ watch is downright unforgettable.
For the parents of some, maybe unforgivable.