These Art Briles Texts Show the Baylor Scandal Just Keeps Getting Worse
Just a quick recap of the initial Baylor drama.
When the Baylor news initially broke, the thought was, at least around Lubbock, that Art Briles got a raw deal and was being blamed for a situation that was above his head. Or at least that it wasn't a football problem, but a campus-wide problem and that Briles was the scapegoat.
The school's president was reassigned, then let go. The stories changed constantly, and new information came out consistently for several months. There was the Pepper Hamilton Report, then there was kind of a lull in the news parade. Briles filed a lawsuit against the University for wrongful termination.
Baylor moved on to a new head coach and rebounded to a decent recruiting class.
Last October, I put out a poll about the possibility of Art Briles coaching at Texas Tech. At the time, 44 percent of the voters said they preferred Briles to current head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Do you still want Art Briles?
Fast forward to last week. A new suit was filed alleging 31 players committed 52 rapes in between 2011 and 2014. There were quotes in the suit from Kendall Briles, Art's son, encouraging recruits to have a good time and encouraging the woman of Baylor to show them that good time. A direct quote from the suit: "Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players."
Then, on February 1st, Art Briles dropped his lawsuit against Baylor. Briles' attorney Ernest Cannon spoke about the dropping of the lawsuit. "All he wanted was his good name," Cannon said, adding that his client decided to quit litigation because he "wants some peace in his life."
Or maybe, instead of the "peace" Briles wanted, he was admitting defeat because of the text messages that have since come out that are incredibly damning. These texts go against the heart of the lie that has been told since day one: That Briles didn't actually know what was going on.
They also led to the speculation that there are text threads about every single terrible thing that has happened at Baylor, and Briles was truly the head of the snake. That he made every decision that put Baylor into the gutter that it's in.
TMZ exposed the text messages, messages like this gem from April 8, 2011, after a freshman defensive tackle was cited for illegal consumption of alcohol:
Briles: “Hopefully he’s under radar enough they won’t recognize name – did he get ticket from Baylor police or Waco? … Just trying to keep him away from our judicial affairs folks....”
You may be saying, that's just booze! Give the man a break! (Yes, there are still people defending this guy.)
How about some gun violence? This one is from February 11, 2013, when an assistant coach notified Coach Briles of a claim by a female student-athlete that a football player threatened her with a gun.
Briles: “what a fool – she reporting to authorities.”
Asst. Coach: “She’s acting traumatized … Trying to talk her calm now… Doesn’t seem to want to report though.”
Briles: “U gonna talk to [the player].”
Asst. Coach: “Yes sir, just did. Caught him on the way to class… Squeezed him pretty good.”
According to the same TMZ.com article, the matter was never reported to Judicial Affairs.
There are also texts trying to cover up a player exposing himself and asking for sexual favors. The victim had a lawyer, but wanted to handle the situation with discipline and counseling. Briles' first response? "What kind of discipline… She a stripper?"
She was a masseuse in a salon, so Briles thought that was "not quite as bad."
Those are just a few of the texts. The worst one to me is this one from August 15, 2015.
This is directly from the TMZ.com article:
After a player was arrested for possession of marijuana, Coach Briles texted an assistant coach: "Sh*t – how about that – he’s gonna b (sic) in the system now – let me know what you think we should do… I can get shill (Shillinglaw) to call Sibley or we can.... Do we know who complained?" The assistant coach responded that the complainant was the superintendent at the player’s apartment complex. Coach Briles replied: “We need to know who supervisor is and get him to alert us first."
To me, this sets up Briles' complicit involvement from top to bottom in the cover up of the systemic failure of the football program and the athletic department at the University of Baylor.
The last text quoted, "We need to know who supervisor is and get him to alert us first," shows a system of a man that tries to be the investigator, the judge and the jury when he has no business being any of them.
Yes, a head coach has the ability to run his program to his standards, "standards" being a loose term with Briles, but the situations coming out in relation to Art Briles go beyond in-house justice.
Rape. Drugs. Guns. Those are things that should be handled by the law, not the football coach.