Baylor fired head football coach Art Briles after the university board of regents determined he had been “directly involved” in a pattern or practice that included sexual assault. In just two weeks, he was hired by Grambling State University
Art Briles will return to a Division I team this season, more than five years after Baylor dismissed him after a blistering assessment by a law firm into how the university and his football program dealt to claims of sexual assault against his players.
Briles, 66, was named the new offensive coordinator at Grambling State on Thursday. Trayvean Scott, the athletic director, claimed he completed his “research” before authorizing the hiring of new coach Hue Jackson.
“I believe [Briles] really wants to teach and lead guys,” Scott said when asked why he felt confident in hiring Briles when so many other colleges and organizations had passed him over. “We’re not talking about an ideal environment or undervaluing previous actions and their consequences. He understands and sympathizes with what happened.”
Here’s a look back at what happened at Baylor during Briles’ tenure, when a wave of sexual assault allegations against his players and “no culture of accountability for misconduct,” as an official investigation into his program put it, led to the school’s most successful football coach, athletic director, and president being fired.
Briles, who was the head coach at Houston, is hired by Baylor on November 28, 2007. He took over a Bears club that had gone 35-101 in the Big 12 era and had never played in a bowl game since 1994.
Tevin Elliott, a Baylor football player, rapes a female Baylor student outside an off-campus party in Waco, Texas on April 15, 2012. Later that morning, the student reports the incident to police and a sexual assault nurse. Another former Baylor student claims she was gang raped at the same party by 10 to 15 additional football players. Elliott is banned for 12 days and then arrested three days later for a “unspecified infraction” of team rules.
On March 2, 2013, a female football team student trainer accused football player Shamycheal Chatman of sexual assault. There are no criminal charges pending. Outside of sports, Baylor administrators have moved the trainer to another sport.
A Baylor volleyball player informs then-volleyball coach Jim Barnes that she was raped at an off-campus party earlier that year by five football players. Barnes, athletic director Ian McCaw, and Briles all know who the alleged attackers are.
A member of the Baylor Bears recruiting hostess program claims that football players Tre’Von Armstead and Chatman sexually attacked her at her apartment after a party for the school’s annual Diadeloso festival on April 20, 2013.
A Baylor women’s soccer player charges defensive end Sam Ukwuachu of rapping her at his residence on October 19, 2013. She calls the cops and gets a sexual assault examination the following day. Two months later, the school’s chief judicial affairs officer determines that the soccer player’s claims could not be proven by a “preponderance of evidence” and refuses to press charges of student misconduct against Ukwuachu.
14 November 2013: Briles signs a new 10-year contract after going 11-2 and winning the Big 12 championship in 2013. Because Baylor is a private institution, financial details were not disclosed. Briles received over $6 million in total pay in 2014, according to the university’s federal tax return, according to USA Today.
Dec. 7, 2013: The Bears beat Texas 30-10 in their last game at Floyd Casey Stadium to earn the Big 12 championship, their first since 1980. Even though they lost in the Fiesta Bowl to UCF, the 11-2 season is still considered one of Baylor’s finest.
Tevin Elliott of Baylor was found guilty of two felony counts of sexual assault in 2014. AP Images/Cal Sport Media
Elliott is found guilty on two felony charges of sexually assaulting a female student at the party in 2012 by a Waco jury on January 23, 2014. Elliott’s argument that the event was consensual was rejected by the jury. Three additional women testified throughout the trial that Elliott had sexually abused them as well. He was sentenced to the maximum of 20 years in jail by a state court judge.
Another Baylor student claims that football player Devin Chafin attacked her following an altercation on April 5, 2014. He strangled her, shoved her against a wall, and kicked her, she said. Chafin was not charged with any criminal offenses.
In the inaugural game played at McLane Stadium, the university’s new $266 million arena on the banks of the Brazos River, Baylor’s football team beats Southern Methodist University 45-0. The stadium is named after Drayton McLane Jr., alumni and businessman who made the greatest financial contribution to the project.
Patty Crawford is hired as Baylor’s first full-time Title IX coordinator on November 18, 2014. She formerly worked at Indiana University East in Richmond, Indiana, as chief of staff and manager of special projects.
Baylor won their second consecutive Big 12 title with a 38-27 victory against Kansas State on December 6, 2014. Despite the Bears’ 61-58 regular-season victory against TCU, the 11-1 teams are designated conference co-champions, and neither club qualifies for the first College Football Playoff.
A jury finds Ukwuachu, a transfer from Boise State, guilty of sexually assaulting the former women’s soccer player on August 20, 2015. When a jury recommends probation, he is sentenced to 180 days in county prison and ten years of probation, which is the maximum punishment authorized under Texas law. He was freed on a $100,000 appeal bail after serving more than two months.
On August 21, 2015, Baylor president and chancellor Ken Starr instructs Baylor law professor Jeremy Counseller to undertake an internal investigation of the university’s handling of Ukwuachu’s sexual assault claims.
Baylor hires Pepper Hamilton LLP of Philadelphia to undertake a “thorough and unbiased external review of the university’s treatment of instances of alleged sexual assault” on September 2, 2015.
A day later, Starr writes a message to the Baylor community. Starr added, “Some have decided that we could have done more.” “That’s possible. Our independent inquiry will shortly determine if there are chances to enhance how we react to sexual assault complaints.”
Armstead gets banned from the Baylor football team on September 18, 2015, for an undefined breach of team rules.
The former Baylor soccer player who claimed Ukwuachu sexually assaulted her allegedly reaches an undisclosed financial deal with the institution on December 31, 2015.
ESPN reported that Baylor authorities either neglected to investigate or did not fully investigate accusations of sexual abuse against Elliott made by two women. Both women said they had been told that Elliott had abused as many as six women. Baylor University waited almost three years to comply with a federal mandate to employ a Title IX coordinator, according to the study.
Armstead is expelled from Baylor on February 3, 2016. On April 5, 2016, he filed an appeal, but it was refused.
The former Baylor student who said she was raped by Elliott files a federal Title IX lawsuit against the school and authorities, including Briles and McCaw, on March 30, 2016. She argues that the school was aware of Elliott’s history of attacks but failed to safeguard her and other female students.
Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman, a transfer from Penn State, gets arrested on an allegation of sexual assault on April 13, 2016. After meeting at a Waco nightclub, a Baylor graduate student claims Oakman pushed her to have sex with him. The intercourse, according to Oakman, was consenting. A jury eventually ruled him not guilty of the allegations.
Baylor did not investigate sexual assault charges against Armstead and Chatman for more than two years, according to ESPN. While Baylor did not begin investigating the claims until September 2015, according to a Waco police report, the event was reported to Baylor administrators in April 2013.
The Baylor regents vote 26-4 to recommend suspending Briles with intent to fire for reason and seeking McCaw’s resignation on May 23, 2016. Briles and McCaw are summoned to a conference the following day to defend themselves. On May 25, the regents decide to put McCaw on probation with a punishment, while a move to overturn Briles’ firing fails by a “overwhelming majority.”
May 26, 2016: Baylor suspends Briles with intent to fire after getting a thorough briefing on Pepper Hamilton’s findings. In addition, the institution has announced that Starr will step down as Baylor president, but he will stay as chancellor and a law professor until then. McCaw has been reprimanded and placed on probation.
The Baylor board of regents is “horrified by the breadth of these acts of sexual assault on our campus,” according to Richard Willis, chairman of the board. “The degree to which these actions happened surprised and appalled us.”
Pepper Hamilton is critical of the football program’s culture and Briles’ player punishments. Baylor’s football players, according to Pepper Hamilton’s conclusions, are “above the rules” and have “no culture of responsibility for misbehavior.”
Following a big incident involving sexual assault charges against Baylor football players, both Art Briles and athletic director Ian McCaw were fired. Duane A. Laverty/AP Photo
Baylor selects former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe as their interim coach on May 30, 2016. Following the announcement of Grobe’s employment, McCaw resigns.
Starr resigns as chancellor on June 1, 2016.
Baylor’s Title IX office notifies football player Jeremy Faulk that he is the subject of an inquiry on June 7, 2016. In mid-April, he found out that he and another player had been accused of sexually abusing a female student. There are no criminal charges pending.
The second federal complaint against Baylor is filed on June 15, 2016, by three women who claim they were sexual assault victims, including one who claims she was attacked on campus in April 2014 by a Bears football player. The complaint does not identify any of the victims, who are referred to simply as “Jane Does,” or the alleged attackers, and it only refers to Baylor workers by their job titles. The complaint, which is still pending, ultimately comprises ten women who claim to have been sexually assaulted between 2004 and 2016.
Baylor and Briles strike a financial agreement on June 17, 2016. Briles was paid $15.1 million, Starr $4.52 million, and McCaw, who departed to become Liberty’s athletic director, was paid $761,059, according to the Dallas Morning News. The payments were discovered via the university’s federal tax filings, according to the Morning News.
A woman files a Title IX complaint against Baylor on June 20, 2016, alleging that the institution has become a “hunting ground” for sexual predators. At an off-campus party, the lady alleges she was drugged and then sexually attacked.
Baylor chooses Missouri’s Mack Rhoades as its next athletic director on July 13, 2016.
In an interview with ESPN on September 10, 2016, Briles says he accepts responsibility for the football program’s handling of sexual assault claims against its players and that his “heart absolutely hurts” for the victims.
“Some horrible things occurred while I was in charge,” Briles said. “And for that, I apologize… I was mistaken. Sorry for the inconvenience. I’m going to educate myself. I’m going to improve.”
Briles said he understood why victims of his team’s players were angry with him.
“I’d apologize profusely to them.” “It absolutely disgusts me that another human being might be victimized,” he remarked. “And it has no place in our culture.” And I’ve never condoned it, will never condone it, and will never tolerate it.
“These players are participants in and ambassadors for our program. When they make a mistake, it reflects poorly on me and the institution. As a result, I am aware of my duty.”
Patty Crawford, Baylor’s Title IX coordinator, resigns on October 4, 2016, after filing a federal Title IX complaint against the institution. Crawford was dissatisfied with her role in executing the 105 recommendations that came out of the Pepper Hamilton findings, according to the university.
On October 11, 2016, a former Baylor student files a federal Title IX complaint against the university, accusing Chafin of physically abusing her three times. Her complaint claims that she informed numerous officials at Baylor about the attacks, including a senior assistant athletic director, but that her concerns were dismissed and that no investigation was undertaken.
Two women who claimed they were gang raped by various football players in 2012 negotiate an undisclosed financial deal with the university on November 22, 2016. The ladies never filed a lawsuit against the guys. There was no information disclosed regarding the nature of the attacks, the athletes involved, or the women who reported the rapes.
Matt Rhule of Temple University is appointed as Baylor’s next football coach on December 8, 2016.
The woman who said she was attacked by Chatman and Armstead files a Title IX complaint against the institution on January 27, 2017. According to the lawsuit, Baylor established a culture of sexual assault that includes 52 rapes involving football players over the course of four years.
The Big 12 board of directors decides on Feb. 8, 2017 to withhold 25% of Baylor’s future revenue distribution payments, which may total $8 million, unless a third party confirms the institution is making sufficient improvements.
Armstead and Chatman were charged with second-degree sexual assault on March 22-23, 2017. Their cases would go unanswered until 2021, when they would be dismissed.
Baylor appoints Linda A. Livingstone, the dean of George Washington’s School of Business, as its first female president in the university’s 172-year existence on April 18, 2017.
A former Baylor volleyball player claims she was gang raped by up to eight football players and files a federal Title IX complaint against the university on May 17, 2017. She claims that gang rapes were used as a “bonding experience for the football players” in the lawsuit. In 2018, the case was resolved.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League employ Briles on Aug. 28, 2017, only to backtrack on the offer hours later due to public outcry.
Art Briles will not be joining the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a coach, according to a joint statement from the CFL and the Tiger-Cats. “Following a long debate between the league and the Hamilton organization, we came to this conclusion this evening. Mr. Briles has our best wishes for his future endeavors.”
Briles gets appointed as the head coach of the Guelfi Firenze, an American football club based in Florence, Italy, on August 2, 2018.
He told ESPN, “It’s an opportunity to go back on the field.” “I’m looking forward to it. I really am. I appreciate the chance.”
Art Briles returns to coaching high school football at Mount Vernon High School in Texas in 2019. Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
Despite head coach Jay Hopson actively campaigning for Briles to be hired, Southern Mississippi declares that he is no longer a contender for the offensive coordinator post. In a statement, the school announced, “We have talked with Art Briles about a job with the Southern Miss football team.”
“We advised him that he was not a candidate after that encounter. There will be no additional comment from the institution on this topic.” Briles’ possible hire was “adamantly opposed” by the university’s Committee on Services and Resources for Women.
May 24, 2019: Briles gets hired as a high school football coach by the Mount Vernon Independent School District in East Texas for a two-year deal. He resigned in December 2020 after finishing 20-6 in two seasons.
Baylor University is fined $462,000 by the US Department of Education for violating campus crime and safety rules after the school announced in 2017 that it was being investigated in light of public reports of sexual assaults on campus that were higher than the numbers Baylor had officially reported.
On November 18, 2020, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturns a lower court’s ruling and reinstates Ukwuachu’s 2015 sexual assault conviction for the second time.
The NCAA Committee on Infractions places the Bears on four years probation on August 11, 2021, more than five years after Briles was fired by Baylor. However, the NCAA Committee on Infractions rules that Briles and the university did not violate its rules by their inaction regarding sexual assault allegations.
Baylor and Briles did not breach NCAA standards by neglecting to disclose complaints of sexual and interpersonal violence on campus, according to the Committee on Infractions. While a former Baylor president called the school’s treatment of sexual abuse a “colossal operational failure,” the committee pointed out that current NCAA regulations prevent the Committee on Infractions from punishing institutions for how they handled such concerns.
“Baylor agreed to moral and ethical flaws in its management of sexual and interpersonal violence on campus,” the committee noted in its conclusion, “but claimed that such failings, however grave, did not constitute breaches of NCAA regulations.” “Finally, and with some trepidation, this panel agrees. To arrive at a different result, the [committee] would have to disregard the rules that the Association’s membership has accepted — regulations that the [committee] is obligated to enforce. The credibility of the infractions process would be jeopardized by such a result.”
Hue Jackson of Grambling State appoints Briles as his offensive coordinator on February 24, 2022, marking Briles’ return to collegiate football. Scott informed ESPN that he researched Briles for around ten days before fully endorsing Jackson’s decision to employ him. He said that Jackson has the authority to bring coaching candidates forward, and that Scott evaluated Briles after Jackson proposed him.
Scott told ESPN’s Pete Thamel, “I’m based in reality.” “I’m aware that a lot has been said and done. We thought it [was acceptable] to give him an opportunity to really rehabilitate himself now that we know the truth.”
Mark Schlabach of ESPN and Paula Lavigne of ESPN contributed to this article.