Baylor fires head football coach Art Briles

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WACO – After eight seasons in Waco, Baylor is firing head football coach Art Briles.

This comes in the wake of several investigations into the program and how they have handled sexual assault claims against their players. The school was accused of ignoring the sexual assault claims and doing nothing for the victims. Former football player Tevin Eliot was accused of sexually assaulting five women. Elliot was convicted of assaulting Jasmin Hernandez and one other woman. He’s been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In 2015, Sam Ukwauchu got 190 days in the slammer, plus 10 years of probation for assaulting a former Baylor soccer player in 2013.

Earlier this year, Shawn Oakman was also accused of rape. That brings the total to two Bear football players who were convicted of rape and six other sexual assaults have been alleged against their teammates. This has all been happening while the football team has enjoyed unparalleled success on the field.

“We were horrified by the extent of these acts of sexual violence on our campus. This investigation revealed the University’s mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive, responsive and caring environment for students,” said Richard Willis, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents. “The depth to which these acts occurred shocked and outraged us. Our students and their families deserve more, and we have committed our full attention to improving our processes, establishing accountability and ensuring appropriate actions are taken to support former, current and future students.”

The Bears had suffered 12 consecutive losing seasons before Briles was hired in December 2007. After going 4-8 in each of Briles’ first two seasons, Baylor went 7-6 and played in its first bowl game in 16 years in 2010.

Since 2011, Briles has guided Baylor to a 50-15 record, winning 10 games or more four of the last five seasons. The Bears won at least a share of consecutive Big 12 titles in 2013 and ’14 with the 2013 title being school’s first outright conference championship since 1980.

In his eight seasons at Baylor, Briles led his team to 65 wins and just 37 losses.

Briles came to Baylor from Houston, where he led the Cougars to four bowl games in five seasons.

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Bayor University released the following personnel changes which are effective immediately:

  • Ken Starr will no longer serve in the role of President of Baylor University effective May 31. David Garland, former dean and professor at Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, will serve as Interim President of Baylor University while the University initiates a search for its next President. Garland previously served as Baylor’s interim President from August 2008 to May 2010. Starr remains the Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law in Baylor’s Law School and has agreed in principle to serve as Chancellor on terms that are still being discussed.
  • Effective immediately, Head Football Coach Art Briles has been suspended indefinitely with intent to terminate according to contractual procedures.
  • Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and placed on probation. McCaw will work with University leadership and the Board of Regents to implement the recommendations as they relate to the restoration of a tone of accountability within the football program, to effective oversight and controls of the Athletics department, and to critically needed changes that will re-align the Athletics program with the University mission.
  • Additional members of the Administration and Athletics program have also been dismissed. Neither these individuals nor the disciplinary actions will be identified publicly.
  • Greg Jones, as Executive Vice President and Provost, serves as second in command and will continue to have responsibility for the academic enterprise and fulfillment of the University’s Christian mission.
  • The roles of members of several University departments will be clarified and staff will be engaged in continuing and robust training before the start of the Fall 2016 semester.
  • The overall business operations of the University, including Athletics, will be executed primarily through Dr. Reagan Ramsower, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
  • The Board of Regents has created the full-time position of Chief Compliance Officer that will report directly to the Office of the President.

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