Coaches who took BU to task on Twitter won’t be punished
No coaches are in trouble with the school after more than 20 Baylor football coaches, assistants, and former players almost simultaneously tweeted a photo of a KWTX Facebook headline Monday evening, with the hashtag #TRUTHDONTLIE, sources told KWTX Tuesday.
None of the staffers will be forced to remove the tweets, sources said.
The hashtag #TRUTHDONTLIE was a catchphrase fired head coach Art Briles often used and a phrase the current staff had been specifically told not to tweet.
The tweets went out just before 6 p.m. Monday from everyone from offensive coordinator Kendal Briles to defensive coordinator Phil Bennett as well as assistant coaches and even former players after KWTX published a story in which interim head coach Jim Grobe contradicted a Baylor statement about his role in the case of dismissed junior college transfer, Jeremy Faulk.
KWTX has learned many of the coaches were in the same room when the tweets were sent.
On Friday, in response to an earlier KWTX story, Baylor’s Executive Associate Athletic Director Nick Joos sent KWTX a statement that said: “The action to remove Jeremy from the football team was taken by the Interim Director of Athletics and Acting Head Football Coach, and did not require other Executive Council members nor Title IX staff involvement.”
Sources told KWTX Tuesday that Joos issued the statement but said it came from “somewhere on campus” outside of the athletic department.
Grobe was questioned about Faulk’s dismissal during his weekly news conference Monday.
“If you’ve got players on your team that have been implicated in any wrongdoing you have to decide if they can represent the football team or not and that’s always the football coach’s decision,” Grobe said in response.
“I think that’s the way most coaches deal with problems if you’ve got kids that have issues they may come back to the football team, but they may not temporarily be able to represent the football team and that’s not just Jeremy it’s any kid on our football team,” he said.
But Grobe later called KWTX to say that while he and the athletic director decided to remove Faulk from the team temporarily during the investigation, they did not make the decision to kick him off the team and strip him of his scholarship.
Athletic Director Mack Rhoades met privately with at least one coach late in the evening, and indicated nothing would happen to the staffers who sent tweets, sources said.
He also encouraged the coaches to focus on the season.
Late last night, Joos, issued a statement to ESPN saying, “We've handled that internally and we're not going to comment any further on it. We've handled that here tonight."
Faulk was recruited from Garden City Community College in Kansas, to which he transferred from Florida Atlantic University to follow his coach.
He spent the spring semester at Baylor, but in June he learned that a female student had talked with police about a sexual encounter she had with him and another man.
She didn’t want to press charges, and Faulk says the sex was consensual, but Baylor’s Title IX Office started to look into the case.
But before Faulk was interviewed, or even told what the specific allegation was, administration got his name and decided to strip him of his scholarship after learning of an incident at Florida Atlantic that campus officers there later described as a dorm prank.
On July 1, an appeals panel, comprised of three staff members from the school's Student Financial Aid Office, ruled in Faulk’s favor, and demanded reinstatement of Faulk’s scholarship, but days earlier, in an email on June 28, Associate Athletic Director of Compliance Keith Miller wrote, "While we are preparing for this upcoming appeal, I wanted to make sure it was clear that Jeremy will not be a member of the football team regardless of the outcome of the appeal of the cancellation of athletic aid. The decision of his removal from the football team is final and not subject to appeal. "
Sources with direct knowledge of the situation told KWTX earlier that Grobe was directed by administrators to kick Faulk off the team.
Patty Crawford, who resigned her position as Title IX coordinator after filing a retaliation complaint against Baylor Senior Vice President for Operations and CFO Reagan Ramsower, said in secret audio recordings obtained by KWTX, that it was Ramsower who made her turn the accused player's name over to administration before Faulk was dismissed.
Grobe was named acting head football coach on May 30, but he inherited Briles’ staff including Briles’ son, Kendal, who paid tribute to his father during the Bears' 55-7 season-opening win over Northwestern State with the initials "CAB,” for Coach Art Briles, written on both of his hands.
Grobe defended the younger Briles in the press conference after the game saying, "If you don't love your dad, something's wrong. I don't have any problems with that at all.”
However, sources say Grobe was later told to ask the younger Briles about the statement and make sure he didn’t repeat it.
Coaches and members of the athletic staff also told KWTX that Grobe told his staff to stop wearing “CAB” shirts to the office, practice or games, in support of Briles because they don’t want them being “political.”
Sources say that directive came from above Grobe, who sent a mass email reminding staffers they’re allowed to wear only Nike gear on game days.
“It is important that our coaches and staff wear designated retail items during games, which include only the Nike apparel pieces that are in your locker. If you have any questions as to what those items are, please contact Jeff Barlow and the equipment staff,” Grobe said in the email, a copy of which KWTX obtained.
KWTX has also learned that members of the athletic staff who tweeted KWTX reports, questioning whether the Pepper Hamilton investigation that led to Briles’ firing was flawed were asked to remove the link from their social media pages.