Grambling State continues to face scrutiny after hiring disgraced former Baylor coach Art Briles to be the football program’s new…
Grambling State continues to face scrutiny after hiring disgraced former Baylor coach Art Briles to be the football program’s new offensive coordinator.
Briles has been a pariah in college football since 2016, when he was fired by Baylor after an investigation concluded he and his staff took no action against players named in sexual assault allegations.
That didn’t stop new G rambling coach Hue Jackson from making the surprise hire last week. The 66-year-old Briles coached briefly in Italy and then at a Texas high school in Mount Vernon since he was dismissed from Baylor.
Grambling’s decision received renewed attention on Monday when a three-day old social media statement from the Hue Jackson Foundation gained traction.
The statement — which was confirmed accurate by the foundation’s executive director Kimberly Diemert — said “we believe that through the hiring of Coach Briles and the well-developed programs we have in place, this hire will be instrumental in teaching others teaching others the importance of knowing how to prevent victimization, proper reporting procedures, provide adequate resources to individuals who have been victimized and develop strong law enforcement partnerships within the community.”
Diemert said Jackson was traveling on Monday and unavailable to comment.
Former Grambling quarterback Doug Williams — who was the first Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl with Washington in 1988 — said on Monday that he read the foundation’s statement and it didn’t do anything to sway his opinion. The NFL executive with the Washington Commanders still believes Grambling made a mistake.
“I don’t know what you get from that statement,” Williams told the AP on Monday. “I don’t think anything needs to be added. Everybody knows what I think about it. I’m not going to change.”
Even so, the prominent HBCU in northern Louisiana hadn’t altered its decision as of Monday afternoon.
“Art Briles is still our offensive coordinator,” Grambling sports information director Brian Howard said.
In the Baylor case, the NCAA infractions panel stated that Briles “failed to meet even the most basic expectations of how a person should react to the kind of conduct at issue in this case. Furthermore, as a campus leader, the head coach is held to an even higher standard. He completely failed to meet this standard.”
Baylor paid Briles more than $15 million after firing him. He later acknowledged making mistakes and apologized for “some bad things” that happened under his watch.
This isn’t the first time a coach has attempted to hire Briles since 2016. Southern Miss coach Jay Hopson attempted to hire Briles as the program’s offensive coordinator in 2019, though university administration eventually vetoed Hopson’s wishes.
Briles was considered one of the top offensive coaches in the country when he led Baylor from 2008-15, leading the program to a 65-37 record. His spread offense kept the Bears regularly ranked in the AP Top 25 and the program had four 10-win seasons in a five-year span from 2011-15.
Jackson is the former head coach of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns.
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