Art Briles Supported in Baylor Letter, Played Part in Initial Hiring by CFL Team

MANHATTAN, KS - NOVEMBER 05:  Head coach Art Briles of the Baylor Bears looks on prior to a game against the Kansas State Wildcats on November 5, 2015 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas.  (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Baylor University offered a letter of support for former head football coach Art Briles that helped him briefly land a job as offensive coordinator for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. 

In the letter dated May 23, 2017 and obtained by Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Baylor general counsel Christopher W. Holmes essentially cleared Briles of any wrongdoing in the sexual-assault scandal involving members of the football team:

“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.

“We wish you the very best in your future endeavors.”

Briles was Baylor’s head football coach from 2008-15. He was suspended with the intent to be fired by the university in May 2016 following multiple sexual assault allegations made against players on the football team. 

The two sides reached agreement on a contract settlement in June 2016. 

The Tiger-Cats announced Briles’ hiring on Monday, but team owner Bob Young released a statement the following day noting they made a “large and serious mistake” and would not be adding the 61-year-old to their coaching staff.