Art Briles Says He's Committed To Baylor's Football Program

WACO (January 1, 2010) - Baylor University head coach Art Briles affirmed his commitment Friday to leading the Bears' football program.

Briles was considered a leading candidate to replace ousted Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach.

"I am proud to be a Baylor Bear and remain committed to making this program a source of pride for the Baylor family," said Briles, who will enter his third season on the Bears' sideline in 2010.

"I feel good about the direction of our program and the foundation that has been built for future success.

"Our coaching staff is excited to finish this recruiting class strong and start preparations for the 2010 season."

The Bears are slated to open spring practice for the 2010 season after Baylor's spring break in mid-March.

Tech fired Leach on Wednesday; two days after suspending him while investigating allegations he mistreated a player who had suffered a concussion.

Tech handed a termination letter to Leach's attorney, Ted Liggett, minutes before a court hearing on the coach's suspension.

Leach had hoped to be reinstated before Saturday's Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.

That letter may have been just the opening salvo in a bigger battle, however.

Liggett said "the fight has just begun" and that Leach's side has evidence showing the suspension was without merit.

Leach was suspended Monday as the school investigated his treatment of receiver Adam James, a sophomore receiver who alleged Leach twice confined him to small, dark spaces while the team practiced.

James is the son of former NFL player and ESPN analyst Craig James.

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