Baylor offered ex-coach Briles support letter in May
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A letter of support written by Baylor’s general counsel for Art Briles has emerged days after the former Bears coach was briefly hired as an assistant by a CFL team. The club, facing public pressure, quickly backtracked from that decision.
The letter dated May 23 was addressed to Briles and not directly to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats or any other potential employer. Briles was fired by Baylor last year after a sexual assault scandal.
The letter was signed by general counsel Christopher W. Holmes, who writes that the school was unaware of any situation in which Briles personally had contact with anyone who directly reported to him being the victim of sexual assault. It also denied the coach directly discouraged the victim of an alleged sexual assault from reporting to law enforcement or university officials.
Holmes also wrote that the school was unaware of any times when the coach used in any game a player who had been found responsible for sexual assault. The letter to the 61-year-old Briles ended, “We wish you the very best in your future endeavors.”
The Star-Telegram first reported the letter .
On Monday, the Tiger-Cats of the CFL announced the hiring of Briles. Less than 11 hours later, he was gone.
Briles was fired by Baylor in May 2016 after an investigation by a law firm found that over several years the school mishandled numerous sexual assault allegations, including some against football players.
Baylor has already settled at least two Title IX lawsuits against the school related to the sexual assault scandal. In August, it reached a deal with former student Jasmin Hernandez, who was sexually assaulted by former Baylor player Tevin Elliott in 2012.
Briles had been removed as a defendant in Hernandez’s lawsuit.