Baylor has changed its tune on former coach Art Briles, now saying he had no role in covering up sexual assaults by football players.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Friday that the university sent a letter to Briles May 23 offering support for the former coach. Baylor fired Briles in May 2016 for his alleged role in the sexual assault scandal that had rocked the school. Briles filed a libel lawsuit against Baylor, which he later dropped after reaching a settlement.
The letter, signed by Baylor’s general counsel, Christopher W. Holmes, states, “As you speak with others regarding these issues, you can be assured you may make certain statements without fear of contradiction from Baylor based on the information currently known to us.
“In particular, at this time we are unaware of any situation where you personally had contact with anyone who directly reported to you being the victim of sexual assault or that you directly discouraged the victim of an alleged sexual assault from reporting to law enforcement or University officials. Nor are we aware of any situation where you played a student athlete who had been found responsible for sexual assault."
The letter concludes, “We wish you the very best in your future endeavors.”
According to the Star-Telegram, Briles used the letter to land a job earlier this week as assistant head coach with the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats. But less than a day later, after a public outcry over the hiring, the team and league announced he would not be joining the Tiger-Cats.
Briles had a 65-37 record in eight seasons at Baylor.