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Art Briles out at Grambling State days after he got hired

FILE PHOTO: Former Baylor head football coach Art Briles
FILE PHOTO: Former Baylor head football coach Art Briles(Source: KWTX (custom credit))
Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 4:58 PM CST
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(AP) - Art Briles is out as Grambling State’s offensive coordinator, less than one week after the disgraced former Baylor coach was surprisingly hired.

Briles has been a pariah in college football since 2016, when he was fired by Baylor after an investigation concluded he and his staff took no action against players named in sexual assault allegations.

In a statement Monday, Briles told Grambling: “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of your coaching staff at Grambling State University. Unfortunately, I feel that my continued presence will be a distraction to you and your team, which is the last thing that I want. I have the utmost respect (for) the university, and your players.”

ESPN first reported that Briles would not coach at Grambling. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Grambling asked Briles to resign or the coach did so on his own.

The baggage surrounding Briles was well-known, but that didn’t stop Grambling coach Hue Jackson from making the hire last week. The 66-year-old Briles coached briefly in Italy and then at a Texas high school in Mount Vernon since he was dismissed from Baylor.

Grambling’s decision received renewed attention on Monday when a three-day old social media statement from the Hue Jackson Foundation gained traction. It was the latest in an avalanche of criticism over the past five days for the prominent HBCU in northern Louisiana.

The statement — which was confirmed accurate by the foundation’s executive director Kimberly Diemert — said “we believe that through the hiring of Coach Briles and the well-developed programs we have in place, this hire will be instrumental in teaching others teaching others the importance of knowing how to prevent victimization, proper reporting procedures, provide adequate resources to individuals who have been victimized and develop strong law enforcement partnerships within the community.”

Diemert said Jackson was traveling on Monday and unavailable to comment.

Former Grambling quarterback Doug Williams — who was the first Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl with Washington in 1988 — was one of many who voiced his displeasure with the school’s decision. The NFL executive with the Washington Commanders said the foundation’s statement didn’t sway his opinion.

“I don’t know what you get from that statement,” Williams told the AP on Monday. “I don’t think anything needs to be added. Everybody knows what I think about it. I’m not going to change.”

In the Baylor case, the NCAA infractions panel stated that Briles “failed to meet even the most basic expectations of how a person should react to the kind of conduct at issue in this case. Furthermore, as a campus leader, the head coach is held to an even higher standard. He completely failed to meet this standard.”

Baylor paid Briles more than $15 million after firing him. He later acknowledged making mistakes and apologized for “some bad things” that happened under his watch.

This isn’t the first time a coach has attempted to hire Briles since 2016. Southern Miss coach Jay Hopson attempted to hire Briles as the program’s offensive coordinator in 2019, though university administration eventually vetoed Hopson’s wishes.

Briles was considered one of the top offensive coaches in the country when he led Baylor from 2008-15, leading the program to a 65-37 record. His spread offense kept the Bears regularly ranked in the AP Top 25 and the program had four 10-win seasons in a five-year span from 2011-15.

Jackson is the former head coach of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns.

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