Former Baylor head football coach Art Briles, who presided over a football program that remains mired in one of the biggest sexual-assault scandals in sports history, is still very upset that people want to place any blame on him for the fact that his players allegedly committed 52 rapes over the course of four years. Briles isn’t going to let his name get dragged through the mud any longer, and he’s got a sternly worded, batshit letter to prove it.
You can read the entire letter at the bottom of the page, but here is the meat of it:
First, that anyone (Baylor student or otherwise) has been hurt, physically, sexually, emotionally, or spiritually is tragic. I would do anything in my power to try and prevent that. Let me be clear: I did not cover-up any sexual violence. I had no contact with anyone that claimed to be a victim of sexual or domestic assault. Anyone well-versed in my work as a coach knows that I strove to promote excellence, but never at the sacrifice of safety for anyone. I did not obstruct justice on campus or off. When I was alerted that there might have been an assault, my response was clear: the alleged victim should go to the police, report it, and it should be prosecuted. And I never knowingly played anyone with a sexual assault allegation.
Third, rumor, innuendo, and out of context messages, emails, and comments have no place in a true fact-finding mission. The key to growth for the school begins with full transparency, not selective messaging. To participate, or worse yet, instigate such, is unfair to the victims, the accused, the programs, and all of Baylor Nation. I hope and pray that at some point, those feeding this disinformation will stop, and full disclosure rather than messaging misdirection will take place. It’s long overdue.
Setting aside the specifics of what Briles did or did not know and what he did or did not do, it’s pretty rich for a person who occupied such a position of power on campus to believe that not intentionally obstructing justice clears the exculpatory bar. The fact is that an independent investigation revealed that Baylor’s entire power structure fell flat on its face when it was faced with allegations of athletes committing scores of sexual assaults, and Art Briles, as one of the biggest cogs in that structure, undoubtedly deserves a heaping portion of the blame.
But, fine, let’s get into specifics. There’s the fact that Briles feels strongly enough about maintaining his pure reputation to fire off a dumbass letter, but apparently didn’t feel confident enough in his own virtue to continue pursuing his defamation lawsuit against the school. And then there are bits of information like this, revealed in a Title IX lawsuit filed against the school:
If Art Briles really believes that the Baylor scandal is in need of more transparency (we certainly agree!) he can get things started by releasing every email and text message he sent to—and recounting every conversation and phone call he had with—coaches, players, police, and other university officials during the time period that the alleged assaults took place. If he doesn’t want to do that, he can shut up and fuck off already.