It appears disgraced former Baylor head football coach Art Briles has brought scandal to his new team, the Mount Vernon Tigers of the Mount Vernon Independent School District, in (you guessed it) Mount Vernon, Texas. Briles and his high school program were publicly reprimanded by a unanimous six-member District Executive Committee on Tuesday, and now the Tigers reportedly face forfeiture of up to five games.
Briles’s well-earned football exile took him many places before he finally landed in Mount Vernon. He had flirtations with Hue Jackson’s Cleveland Browns, the Houston Cougars, Lane Kiffin’s FAU Owls, and Jay Hopson’s Southern Miss Golden Eagles, plus a couple of real, if aborted, jobs in Canada and Italy. He’s been the varsity coach at Mount Vernon since May, and already he’s in hot water. Two players on his Tigers team “were ruled Tuesday to have moved into the district for athletic purposes,” which would make them ineligible by the rules of the school district, according to a report from the Dallas Morning News. In addition, the team is accused of using a coach who was not employed by the school district, which is another violation. Briles and Mount Vernon were reprimanded as a result of the findings, but the punishments may not stop there. From the report:
However, the UIL’s state executive committee can strip teams of victories when it deems the school violated the rules.
“In the event an ineligible contestant is used in any League game or contest, knowingly or unknowingly, the minimum penalty shall be forfeiture of the game, contest or event,” the UIL constitution reads.
The ultimate punishment for using the ineligible players—two brothers who apparently moved with their family to Mount Vernon from Colorado—is complicated by the fact that another panel of superintendents ruled 3–0 back in September that the players were, in fact, eligible. Mount Vernon reportedly plans to appeal Tuesday’s decision, which it described as a “sudden reversal of field.” According to Dan Solomon of Texas Monthly, the brothers ruled ineligible Tuesday are not the only suspicious cases on the team:
As pointed out by Solomon, Mount Vernon made a point of shoehorning in some praise of Briles’s spotless recruiting record as a college coach in their introductory press release back in May. Which was weird both for being awkward and out-of-place in a hiring announcement, and for how glaringly it ignored the actual horrors from his time at Baylor. Briles is a sleazy dirtbag, but in his catalogue of personal and professional failures, using a couple out-of-state recruits and a non-staff coach is small potatoes.