Art Briles’ Character Concerns

Let me start off by saying this, I don’t care who you are, who you work for, how credible you are any of that, if you let sexual assault happen to people on campus that you may or may not know by the guys you recruited and that you call “Family” you just never be allowed to coach again.

Of course I am referring to former Baylor coach Art Briles who was fired this week along with Athletic Director, AD, Ian McCaw being put on probation and President Ken Starr being terminated but still being a professor there. Before I get into Briles the other sanctions are completely justified, the AD is responsible or both his, or her, coaches and their players. That being said he is indirectly responsible for letting Briles and his players get away with sexual assault on campus for however long they did. Secondly, the president oversees everything from the school and also was terminated justly because that shows that he allowed people that were bad characters into the college and after the news that they choose to do nothing about complaints filed, makes the case for him to be fired even more prominent.

Coach Briles deserved to be fired not only because he had multiple players and cases happen on his watch. Also because of the fact that he not only knew about the complaints but also met directly with the complainants and failed to report the misconduct (as seen in the picture below). That is a gross misconduct on Briles part not only because of the knowledge that he had of the situation, but also deeming sexual assault unimportant based on his actions. By not reporting the assaults Briles basically said that his football team and their success is more important than any sexual assault his players committed.

 

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Yes Art Briles is a good coach, very innovative and smart, but apparently he is not a great recruiter based on signing these guys that did this assault. In my opinion he must have known about the character flaws these guys had coming into college, but Briles did not decide to try and fix them but rather stew and get worse. But this is not the first time we have heard of character concerns of Baylor players, granted no concern was to this degree but still were concerns nonetheless.

Starting with one of the more talked about cases with Josh Gordon former wide receiver and current Browns wide receiver that has not played in two years because of suspension for marijuana. In August 2011 Gordon left the program after being suspended indefinitely for having marijuana in his car. Not only did Gordon not learn from that experience but he also received no help from Briles or the staff. Like I stated earlier Gordon has been suspended two times, one time for 4 games and a year as a second offense a year later, he is also suspended indefinitely until he can pass a drug test.

Another prominent character concern player is Robert Griffin III who when he came out of Baylor was thought of as a possible great player and high character guy. After serving out is rookie contract with the Washington football team, Griffin was released and signed by the Browns. Not only did he come into the league not knowing a pro style offense and having a previous injury, but he was mismanaged by coach Mike Shanahan and torn his ACL was rushed back and hurt it again and has never been the same. In the past few weeks articles have come out about about how he fell out of favor with the Washington team.

Most cited a refusal to learn new plays and adopt a new offensive system that Shanahan liked to run, which I understand because he was good in college in Briles’ system and is familiar as well. Other articles also stated that Griffin did not want to watch his bad plays on tape but rather what he did good as well as the upcoming opponent. On top of all that Griffin fought with his coaches thinking that he was always right and had a feeling of entitlement being the number 2 overall pick. Apparently Briles never humbled Griffin but rather built him up and inflated his ego even more that he should have. Maybe some of these concerns wouldn’t turn off a lot of coaches and GM’s to Griffin but even the architect John Elway wanted nothing to do with him because of character concerns.

All these former players on top of the news about sexual assault by his current, and graduating/ leaving players, shows one thing about Art Briles. He will do anything to win even skirt around legal boundaries as well as NCAA boundaries. Although he is following in line with some of the best coaches such as Nick Saban of Alabama, Bobby Bowden of Florida State, Al Golden of Miami, Jim Tressel of Ohio State, Pete Carroll of USC and of course Joe Paterno of Penn State. So the lesson here is, if you want to be a great coach bend the rules at your program as long as you are winning and hope the NCAA never finds out.

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