Art Briles breaks silence in first statement since firing
In his first statement since he was fired as Baylor University’s Head Football Coach, Art Briles said in a statement sent first to News 10's Julie Hays that he "can only assume that the [Pepper Hamilton] report, which is not independent, supports the conclusions that the board has already drawn.”
In the statement sent Thursday morning, Briles also said he had not seen the Pepper Hamilton report, and that he is “contractually obligated to remain silent on the matter.” He admits making mistakes, but says the full scope of what happened has not been disclosed.
“After 38 years of coaching, I have certainly made mistakes, and, in hindsight, I would have done certain things differently. I always strive to be a better coach, a better father and husband, and a better person.”
Briles also addresses the victims of abuse saying, “My heart goes out to the victims for the pain that they have endured. Sexual assault has no place on our campus or in our society. As a father of two daughters, a grandfather, and a husband, my prayers are with the victims of abuse, wherever they are.”
Briles says he hopes to speak about what he knew about the sexual assaults on campus, saying, “I hope to share with you what I was aware of as soon as I can so Baylor Nation can begin the healing process.”
Last Thursday, Baylor’s Board of Regents fired Briles, stripped Ken Starr of his position as president, and put Athletic Director Ian McCaw on probation in the wake of a scathing report of a review of the sexual assault scandal that engulfed the school’s football program.
Earlier this week, McCaw announced his resignation.
Starr resigned his position as chancellor on Wednesday, but remains a professor in the Baylor Law School.
Starr spoke about Briles with News 10 Wednesday, calling him “a coach of second chance.”
Starr said he hadn’t been given any details on what an outside investigation revealed about Briles’ role in the sexual assault scandal, but said, “I am here to say coach Briles and this program are good. He's a good person.”
A report of the findings of the review by Pepper Hamilton summarizes over 13 pages the inadequacies it found at Baylor with respect to inattention and misconduct by university administrators and leadership in the athletic department regarding Title IX issues.
In the section that speaks to athletics, the report says athletic senior staff failed to guard against harm to students by not following university rules and code of conduct, but then pointed out that administration failed to exercise oversight in athletics to ensure those policies were followed.
Jim Grobe, 64, was announced as the replacement for Briles as acting head football coach Monday.
Grobe was head coach from 1995 to 2000 at Ohio University.
He finished his career from 2001 to 2013 at Wake Forest.
Art Briles Full Statement:
My heart goes out to the victims for the pain that they have endured. Sexual assault has no place on our campus or in our society. As a father of two daughters, a grandfather, and a husband, my prayers are with the victims of this type of abuse, wherever they are. After 38 years of coaching, I have certainly made mistakes and, in hindsight, I would have done certain things differently. I always strive to be a better coach, a better father and husband, and a better person.
Keep in mind, the complete scope of what happened here has not been disclosed and unfortunately at this time I am contractually obligated to remain silent on the matter. The report prepared by Pepper Hamilton, the law firm hired and paid for by Baylor's Board of Regents, has not been shared with me directly, despite my full cooperation with the investigation. I can only assume that the report, which is not independent, supports the conclusions that the Board has already drawn. I hope to share with you what I was aware of as soon as I can so Baylor Nation can begin the healing process.
I have the utmost admiration for Baylor University, its community, and its important mission. I am truly grateful for having had the chance to coach hundreds of young student athletes at this University. I am deeply humbled for having had the opportunity to be a part of Baylor Nation.
Coach Art Briles