Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Southern Miss Coach Defends Interviewing Art Briles By Saying It'd Be His Job To Report Rape Allegations Anyway

Photo: Ronald Martinez (Getty)

Since getting fired in May 2016, disgraced former Baylor coach Art Briles has sought employment with the Houston Cougars, Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlanta Owls, and the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He’s found varying degrees of success—even getting hired briefly by the Tiger-Cats—only for every courtship to end with the team’s brass declining to keep him around, then being forced to issue a statement about the matter. Everyone eventually realizes that it’s not really worth bringing on the man who coached Baylor during its darkest times.

This week, Southern Mississippi became the latest school to not hire Briles. The Golden Eagles interviewed Briles for their vacant offensive coordinator position this week, provoking the ire of the school’s Committee on Services and Resources for Women. The Athletic obtained a copy of a letter sent by the committee to Souther Miss higher-ups, in which they strongly condemned the possible hiring of Briles.

“We are shocked and dismayed,” said Dr. Stacy Creel, president-elect of CSRW and an associate professor in the Southern Miss School of Library and Information Science. “Rape culture is a serious issue on college campuses, and this does not go with the stated values of our university.

“A football win is not worth risking the safety of our campus.”

After enough people got mad and pointed out that the school should maybe not hire a man who oversaw a Baylor program where, according to one lawsuit, 31 players were accused of committing 52 rapes in four years, Southern Mississippi announced they would not hire Briles in a short statement. “We have met with Art Briles regarding a position with the Southern Miss football program. Following that meeting, we informed him that he is not a candidate,” the school said.

This did not stop Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson from going out of his way to say he wanted to hire Briles, and that he disagreed with the school’s decision to move on. Unlike even Briles himself, who still denies that he ever did anything wrong, Hopson plainly admitted that Briles “may not have acted in the proper protocol.” The good (?) news is, Hopson says, “that would be my JOB at Southern Miss.” Here’s the whole thing, via Brett McMurphy:

At least Briles has the start of the Guelfi Firenze season to look forward to.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author