As if anyone really needed the Art Briles story to get any worse. Recently, another Title IX lawsuit opened up against Baylor. This in which a woman’s attorney alleges that there were 52 sexual assaults committed by no less than 31 players. All from 2011 through 2014. With this news released, more information was brought forth with a description of an incident in which the former girlfriend of Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman accused Oakman of physical abuse.
With this report, essentially nothing was done by the coaching staff at Baylor. But it gets worse. It has been alleged that Briles, with his coaching staff, created a sort of abyss in which any report of misconduct by one of their athletes from drug use and assault to indecent exposure and academic fraud conveniently disappeared. A series of text messages throughout Briles’ coaching stint at Baylor was also released. These in which Briles referenced an attorney multiple times. And, said things like “He said Waco PD was there… said they were going to keep it quiet… Wasn’t a set up deal…”
While all of these cases are happening, you have Baylor alumni, football fans, players and many more advocating hard for Briles as he tries to find a coaching job elsewhere. Even Briles’ attorney, Ernest Cannon, told The Associated Press: “Art Briles is trying to go on with his life. I think Baylor regents would be better served if they would, too.”
Personally, I don’t think that Briles really deserves to “move on” to anything with his life. He and the rest of his coaching staff that took part in covering up not only gang rapes, but multiple criminal activity charges against various football players, should be behind bars. There is no situation that I could think of in which Briles needs to be setting an example. Or, leading young men.
While I understand that winning is important when it comes to sports, people’s lives are much more important. The lives of the multiple victims are what’s important here. Not Briles’ career or the football players. And surely not whether a mediocre football team can secure a win in the Big XII conference. Art Briles didn’t care about protecting his football players from prosecution, he simply cared about winning a football game. And that’s one of the more disgusting parts (other than the actual assaults) of the entire thing.
It shouldn’t be easy for Briles to sleep at night. This should be something that haunts him for the rest of his life. The sad part is: it won’t. I think the dumbest move any university could do would be to pick him up and let him have a crack at their program. After all, what school would even want to risk the possibility of a Title IX lawsuit because of a coach who wanted to win instead of do the right thing? We shouldn’t be concerned about whether or not Briles can find a job anywhere other than a chow line in prison to be quite frank.
In a world of collegiate sports where sexual assault and violence is already a big enough issue, we don’t need more enablers allowing it to continue.