Thursday, October 27, 2016

Will Baylor’s firing of Art Briles change how schools like WVU handle athlete incidents?

Charleston, W.Va –  After eight seasons the Baylor Bears head football coach, Art Briles is fired after a review of how the program mishandled sexual assault allegations made against students involving football players.

Baylor’s board of regents received an independent report from Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton which investigated the school’s response to allegations.  Baylor’s statement said the findings in the report by Pepper Hamilton “reflect a fundamental failure by Baylor to implement Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.” The university has hired a New York law firm to contact the NCAA about possible rule violations.

Briles had eight years remaining on a ten-year contract extension he signed in November 2013. It is believed the coach was making close to six million dollars a year, however, Baylor has yet to release the details of his contract. What’s more, a university can fire a coach without having to pay the remainder of his or her contract if it has findings of cause, and in this case Baylor has plenty. As of now, it is not known if Briles has negotiated a buyout with Baylor.

The Bears suffered twelve consecutive losing seasons before Briles was hired in December 2007 and Baylor reached its first bowl game in sixteen years in 2010. Since 2011, Briles is 50-15 as the Bears head coach winning ten games or more for four of the past five seasons. The team won their first outright conference title in 2013 for the first time since 1980.  During the Big 12 baseball tournament in Oklahoma City, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby made this statement to reporters:

“Coach Briles has certainly had a remarkable career at Baylor,” Bowlsby said. “They won a lot of games and they built a beautiful stadium. There’s no doubt there’s a sadness that goes along with his departure. And yet I think Baylor has been transparent in their handling of the matter. They’ve taken steps.”

I had the chance to speak with the man who broke this story in Waco, Craig Smoak, host of Unnecessary Roughness on KRIZI AM 1660. He broke down everything involving the decision to fire Art Briles, Pepper Hamilton Report findings, how the fans are reacting in Waco, and more. Listen to the entire interview with Craig Smoak below and listen to The Brandon Lowe Show on AM 950 WBES in Charleston.



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