Baylor fires Art Briles

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Art Briles has filed a defamation lawsuit against three specific regents and a school VP of Baylor University. He claims that the actions of these individuals (primarily through false statements in the media) represents an ongoing conspiracy that is preventing him from getting another job. He also claims he is not a public figure for purposes of this lawsuit.

This may be the single most self-destructive legal action ever undertaken. Assuming this is actually litigated, I will enjoy watching Briles commit self-immolation.

http://deadspin.com/art-briles-sues-baylor-for-libel-and-conspiracy-1789889451

Edit: After reading portions of it, the lawsuit reads like a poorly written novel. (The fact that it begins with a bible quote is a nice touch.) I think it may not survive a motion to dismiss, which would be a shame. In any case, I did want to share paragraph 9, which is the beginning of the "Nature of the Case" section:

Some people think themselves above the law, but the laws of Texas establish accountability for everyone, even renegade, self-dealing regents of a Christian University. Your Plaintiff Art Briles, was a hard-working, productive football coach at the amazing Baylor University who became a pawn in the power games played by certain members of the Board of Regents - the defendants in this case.
In a subsequent passage, the objectives of the suit are described as being to "bring light to the truth, and justice to the wronged."

I mean, all this needs is a buxom woman and a description of "turgid flesh" and it's a Harlequin Romance novel ...
 
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maufman

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Average Reds

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As an aside, I did not visit Deadspin for several years, but have begun to do so again since the horrible people associated with the site (and specifically A. J. Daulerio) are now out. Apologies if linking to them is considered bad form.
 

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I'll let maufman answer for himself, but after thinking about it, I agree.

Among other things, the lawsuit allows Briles' to generate media coverage for "his side" of the story without directly violating what I presume is a pretty tough non-disparagement clause in his severance agreement. At the same time, I think this carries significant risks for Briles.

Now, Briles may be in a position where he believes that he has nothing to lose. I would dispute that, because if his case survives a motion to dismiss, I would expect Baylor to file a massive counterclaim for breach of their settlement. I would also expect that the discovery process will ruinous to him.

But that's a long way down the road.
 
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InstaFace

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In the interests of something-resembling-justice, someone might as well ask: how do we know that Briles knew about, and failed to report, these rapes? "of course he knew" isn't really compelling enough to justify destroying a guy's career over, so I have to assume there's more than that. And the deadspin article says:

"More details about exactly who knew what and when they knew it are unavailable, as the law firm that conducted the investigation, Pepper Hamilton, never actually produced a full written report of their findings."

The point about non-disparagement clauses is totally moot, given that he has clearly been disparaged by the organization that he left, to his clear financial detriment, and there is no way that clause wasn't mutual. I mean, that's the whole provision he's suing over. So really, the Regents' only defense here would be demonstrating the truth of the statements, and then making an argument that they would have come out inevitably anyway, right?
 

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In the interests of something-resembling-justice, someone might as well ask: how do we know that Briles knew about, and failed to report, these rapes? "of course he knew" isn't really compelling enough to justify destroying a guy's career over, so I have to assume there's more than that. And the deadspin article says:

"More details about exactly who knew what and when they knew it are unavailable, as the law firm that conducted the investigation, Pepper Hamilton, never actually produced a full written report of their findings."

The point about non-disparagement clauses is totally moot, given that he has clearly been disparaged by the organization that he left, to his clear financial detriment, and there is no way that clause wasn't mutual. I mean, that's the whole provision he's suing over. So really, the Regents' only defense here would be demonstrating the truth of the statements, and then making an argument that they would have come out inevitably anyway, right?
The one thing I can say for certain is that whatever agreement that Briles had with the University as part of his financial settlement is absolutely not moot.

Beyond that, this is all speculation, since the details of his agreement are unknown. (But will almost certainly become known if this case advances.) I can also tell you based on personal knowledge that non-disparagement agreements are often not mutual, especially in cases where an individual is getting tens of millions of dollars to go away quietly. (My guess is that Briles' agreement was mutual, but that there were carve-outs for the university in very specific circumstances.)

But putting all of this aside, the reason I suspect that his claim will gain exactly zero traction in court is that there is no reasonable way for Briles to claim that he does not meet the definition of being a public figure. And once that is established, the burden shifts to Briles and he has to prove not only that the statements in question are false, but that the individuals in question knew or should have known them to be false before they made them.

But no matter. I have no rooting interest here except for the destruction of all parties, so go Art, go!.
 

InstaFace

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If he can prove the statements are false, then the first people who should have known that were the regents, who put out that public statement after much research was done on their dime. I don't think he'll have trouble proving that plank if he can prove falsity. And it may not matter depending on the contractual language, as you sensibly point out. But yes, I agree he's clearly a public figure and claiming otherwise won't help his credibility on the rest of it.

Every time I've left an organization and signed an NDA / non-disparagement / non-solicitation in any combination, it has always been mutual. It is in no one's interest to public badmouth each other. I can see well why Baylor may have wanted the option to badmouth him on the way out the door, but I would personally be surprised if they had negotiated the right to do so, given that (A) Briles surely had some lawyers look over the deal, and (B) he's now suing and claiming damages for them disparaging him.

None of that is knowable. But the question of whether the statements are true or false, based on current knowledge, is a lot more knowable to us right now. Which is why I'm curious as to what we know. With Penn State, there were some smoking-gun-type witnesses who had directly told Paterno. If there is any such evidence here, I have missed it.
 

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If previous reports are credible, there are multiple witnesses who can testify to Briles' direct knowledge of/actions taken to block punishment for many of the rapes/gang rapes that have been alleged and/or proven.

Of course, that's what the legal process is for ...
 

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In the "Least Surprising Thing Ever" category, Art Briles has dropped his lawsuit against Baylor before any actual litigating took place.

I'm sure it had nothing to do with the lawsuit that was filed recently where 52 alleged instances of rape - including 5 gang rapes - were detailed and Kendall Briles (assistant coach, and son of Art) was quoted as telling one recruit "Do you like white woman? Because we have lots of them at Baylor and they love football players."

Nope. None of that mattered. What mattered was that Baylor had the audacity to insist that Briles prove his case.

His attorney, Ernest Cannon of Stephenville, said the lawsuit was never about money.

"All he wanted was his good name." Cannon said.

“I'm sorry we didn't get this resolved for all the Baylor people, so they could know the truth,” Cannon said.

“A man can only carry so much.”

“They overloaded him in an endless supply of money, lawyers, resources, and no restraints on anything they'll do to achieve their goals,” Cannon said.

“Art wants some peace in his life for him and his family, and to put as much distance between him and his family and Baylor as he can, and I wholeheartedly agree with him.”
Art Briles is a piece of shit.

http://www.kwtx.com/content/news/Briles-drops-libel-suit-against-Baylor-wants-some-peace-in-his-life-412475203.html
 
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johnmd20

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A man can only carry so much. And a woman raped gets to carry it all, alone, with no recourse if that woman happens to go to Baylor.
 

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BTW, the reporting coming out today is related to a different slander lawsuit - this one was filed by former Baylor assistant coach Colin Shillinglaw, who contends that he was fired without cause and that the school slandered him. (His suit was very similar to the one files by Briles.)

After getting a look at how the University (and Regents) were going to respond, Briles apparently went home with his tail between his legs. Shillinglaw did not (which is absolutely stunning) and the response filed yesterday presents an unfiltered look at how these programs are run.

My favorite moment is the response of booster when it was explained to him why the coaches had to be let go last year:

"If you mention Baylor's mission one more time I'm going to throw up. ... I was promised a national championship."
http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/18609288/art-briles-baylor-bears-assistants-buried-player-misbehavior-documents-say
 

Zososoxfan

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I was talking to a friend and one awful aspect of this is that I highly doubt this is an isolated incident. How many other programs are run in a similar manner? My random guess is 30-40% of all P5 programs.
 

Bosoxen

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I was talking to a friend and one awful aspect of this is that I highly doubt this is an isolated incident. How many other programs are run in a similar manner? My random guess is 30-40% of all P5 programs.
I just had a similar conversation with a coworker who went to Baylor. I don't think there's any doubt this kind of behavior is rampant but it's the scope and the audacity of this particular case that makes it so sickening.

The cherry on the shit sundae was the pompous "we're a Christian university and Christians don't act that way" waving away of the accusations.
 

ethangl

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I was talking to a friend and one awful aspect of this is that I highly doubt this is an isolated incident. How many other programs are run in a similar manner? My random guess is 30-40% of all P5 programs.
I think 30-40% is far too high a number because 30-40% of head coaches do not have a town/university pledge fealty to them in the way that Briles and Paterno have. If Briles had Kevin Steele's record, he wouldn't have had the power to effectively suppress all of this for such a longer period of time.
 

Zososoxfan

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I think 30-40% is far too high a number because 30-40% of head coaches do not have a town/university pledge fealty to them in the way that Briles and Paterno have. If Briles had Kevin Steele's record, he wouldn't have had the power to effectively suppress all of this for such a longer period of time.
These are programs that IIRC have trouble with illicit rewards to players, poor history of institutional control, and/or an unhealthy over-emphasis on athletics over education (this last one is a matter of personal opinion):

Alabama
LSU
Ole Miss
Florida (I have respect for Florida as an institution, but Urban's tenure there is a huge black mark)
Tennessee
USC
Texas
Baylor (duh)
OSU
PSU
FSU
Miami
UNC

My point isn't to single these schools out, I think it's a systemic problem and one that has degrees to it. UNC's academic scandal is a big deal, but I put Baylor's and PSU's transgressions as far worse. Nevertheless, if UNC is capable of allowing such wide-scale academic fraud, perhaps they don't deserve the benefit of the doubt. I don't think it's unrealistic that 20 or 30 schools (maybe more?) have the ability to sweep serious crimes under the rug and try to do so regularly.

Edit: Reread your comment Ethan and I think UF is a good example. I think the institution would have enough control to prevent something like this, but you get an iconic and successful coach like Urban in there and they let him run the place like he saw fit and he swept a lot of terrible stuff under the rug (see: Hernandez, Aaron).
 

Bosoxen

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I don't think it's unrealistic that 20 or 30 schools (maybe more?) have the ability to sweep serious crimes under the rug and try to do so regularly.
This is a pretty crucial distinction. Though I agree with you that a large amount of programs likely try to skirt the rules in some form or fashion, I'm not sure I'd put stuff like USC's shenanigans quite on par with what went on at Baylor and Penn State.
 

ethangl

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an unhealthy over-emphasis on athletics over education (this last one is a matter of personal opinion)
I don't think you want to go here. With the exception of Stanford (edit: and the service academies, obviously), I can demolish basically any big time program's supposed commitment to academics very easily. Everybody's pushing the majority of their athletes through useless sports management, "motion science", sociology, "general studies", etc, majors.

That is neither here nor there though, and not even on the same planet as covering up assault. I have no why idea you would lump these things together.
 

Zososoxfan

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I don't think you want to go here. With the exception of Stanford (edit: and the service academies, obviously), I can demolish basically any big time program's supposed commitment to academics very easily. Everybody's pushing the majority of their athletes through useless sports management, "motion science", sociology, "general studies", etc, majors.

That is neither here nor there though, and not even on the same planet as covering up assault. I have no why idea you would lump these things together.
I meant this to the extent that a school would cover up violent crimes. A bit redundant perhaps, but trying to clarify.
 

edoug

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“When we arrived at Baylor, we made a commitment to character and integrity in our program,” Rhule said. “Brandon’s actions are completely unacceptable. We will not tolerate conduct that is contradictory to these values.”

Way to take the moral high ground guys.
 

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I don't think you want to go here. With the exception of Stanford (edit: and the service academies, obviously), I can demolish basically any big time program's supposed commitment to academics very easily. Everybody's pushing the majority of their athletes through useless sports management, "motion science", sociology, "general studies", etc, majors.

That is neither here nor there though, and not even on the same planet as covering up assault. I have no why idea you would lump these things together.
As you state, the emphasis on athletics over academics exists everywhere and I would include Stanford and the Ivies in that statement. (I don't have any insights on the service academies.) Where I differ from you is that I don't see covering up assault as being on a "different planet" from this practice. I see a difference in degree, not kind.

If we were to look closely, I think we'd find cover ups of serious crimes at virtually every school. Hell, Notre Dame has covered up allegations of rape against athletes for years, including a notorious case where a victim took her own life rather than face continued harassment after she reported a rape. Then there's the fact that the current head football coach killed a kid through gross negligence and nobody blinked. This is the university that is held up as an example of a school that "does things right."

The NCAA and their member institutions - all of them - will do anything to maintain the fiction of the sainted student-athlete, including covering up serious crimes. And we're at the point where those who feel otherwise should bear the burden of proof.
 
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ethangl

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Ha, I'm curious what you think this actually proves.

Where I differ from you is that I don't see the covering up assault as being on a "different planet" from this practice. I see a difference in degree, not kind.
Okay, we disagree. I see easy academics as a means to an end for both parties (school and athlete), who are both stand to benefit from this arrangement. Ultimately I think a very high percentage of college football players participate in this arrangement to their own detriment, but they are adults and did so willingly.

Whereas rape and manslaughter have, you know, human victims and all that. If Tom Herman were to systematically cover up pederasty over a period of several years, I would consider him a criminal and want him prosecuted. I'd torch my degree if UT did nothing about it. So yeah the lack of consequences for Brian Kelly blows my mind.

On the other hand, allowing "students" to receive a degree without declaring a major is silly and makes a mockery of the institution, but it isn't a crime.

If we were to look closely, I think we'd find cover ups of serious crimes at virtually every school.
Fine, who's the first target of the SoSH College Sports Investigative Team?
 
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Average Reds

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Okay, we disagree. I see easy academics as a means to an end for both parties (school and athlete), who are both stand to benefit from this arrangement. Ultimately I think a very high percentage of college football players participate in this arrangement to their own detriment, but they are adults and did so willingly.

Whereas rape and manslaughter have, you know, human victims and all that. If Tom Herman were to systematically cover up pederasty over a period of several years, I would consider him a criminal and want him prosecuted. I'd torch my degree if UT did nothing about it. So yeah the lack of consequences for Brian Kelly blows my mind.

On the other hand, allowing "students" to receive a degree without declaring a major is silly and makes a mockery of the institution, but it isn't a crime.
You seem to be implying that people are making the argument that there is no difference between academic violations and the cover up of serious crimes. That is false.

What I am arguing is that the mindset that places an emphasis on athletics over academics leads directly and inevitably to the sort of abuses where crimes are covered up. And we have so much evidence of this that I'm a bit confused as to what you are debating.

It's clear that I'm not going to change your mind, so I won't drag this out any longer. But I do not accept the premise behind your post.
 

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Quote the posts of mine that mention academic violations. What I said, effectively, is that nobody is committed to academics. There's a long, long road between "rocks for jocks" courses and covering up rape.
I'll ignore the ad hominem and simply ask who has said otherwise?

Edit: Let me put it another way - you seem to have switched arguments here, because before you were saying that the two were unconnected. ("Not even on the same planet.") Now you are saying that "there's a long, long road" between them. That's the argument that I have been making.
 

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What a disgusting comment by Mulkey given all the evidence provided. That whole "university" needs an enema.
 

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Sadly, this thread needs a bump with reports surfacing that Baylor players used hazing to bring women to parties where drugging and rape occurred:

According to the suit, the football team had a system of hazing freshman recruits by having them bring freshman females to parties to be drugged and gang raped, “or in the words of the football players, ‘trains’ would be run on the girls.”

Considered a bonding experience by the players, according to the suit, the rapes were also photographed and videotaped, and the plaintiff confirmed that at least one 21-second videotape of two Baylor students being gang raped by football players had circulated.
http://www.wacotrib.com/news/courts_and_trials/baylor-hit-with-th-title-ix-lawsuit-plaintiff-alleges-gang/article_1b391c59-1722-5532-9c3b-058b07850249.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=user-share

http://deadspin.com/yet-another-lawsuit-says-baylor-officials-did-nothing-a-1795301848
 

OilCanShotTupac

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Sounds like there should be multiple felony charges- rape, assault, maybe kidnapping. Don't know TX statutes but 10-15 years or maybe more, I would think.

Football? You're kidding, right?
 

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Man, if this is true and the NCAA doesn't hand down the death penalty...
They didn't hand down the death penalty when Dave Bliss smeared a murder victim to cover up his NCAA violations and ruined the career of the only assistant coach with the guts to turn him in.

So no, I don't expect Baylor to get the death penalty.
 

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They didn't hand down the death penalty when Dave Bliss smeared a murder victim to cover up his NCAA violations and ruined the career of the only assistant coach with the guts to turn him in.

So no, I don't expect Baylor to get the death penalty.
On top of that, the NCAA figured out with the SMU DP that it doesn't just effect the school, but the entire conference and additional concerns as well. The residual effect is $$ to the NCAA, so they are unlikely to ever go there again. If DP was just something that effected the school, it'd be in play, but it goes far beyond that and touches upon issues not related to Baylor.
 

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Yeah, the SMU death penalty was the first brick toward the (rightful) end of the SWAC. (The Big 12 is probably a gonner eventually , but a death penalty for Baylor makes that quicker.) They'll only consider things that affect Baylor but not the Big 12. They could do what they did in the basketball case: cancel non-conference games for a year (or two), two-year post-season ban and reduce scholarships. They don't seem to consider cancelling games anymore so I won't hold my breath
 
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Average Reds

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Looks like Baylor's attempt to shield the information gathered by Pepper Hamilton may not survive legal scrutiny.

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/courts_and_trials/documents-baylor-pepper-hamilton-shifted-relationship-to-establish-attorney-client/article_f6856395-ebad-590d-81d4-cd26774b75f3.html

The only way for full accountability is for the information to come out. Hopefully the courts will see the legal two-step for what it was and accept the testimony of Interim President David Garland, who told a Texas Senate Committee that Pepper Hamilton was hired as investigators and not legal advisers.
 

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http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/24866048/ncaa-cites-baylor-lack-institutional-control-notice-allegations?sf199000871=1


Baylor was cited for a lack of institutional control by the NCAA this week..


Also. there is this disgusting news:
https://www.wacotrib.com/news/courts_and_trials/former-title-ix-chief-crawford-s-deposition-takes-aim-at/article_0909593c-bd17-5a96-ac34-4d7ac471f68c.html
Former Title IX chief Crawford's deposition takes aim at BU leaders, culture of recruiting group



 

Bosoxen

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It's been said before but it must be repeated: FUCK BAYLOR. You fuckwads want biblical? Wait until the NCAA goes all Jesus at the temple on your asses and lays waste to that cesspool you call an athletic department.

I really hope they get the death penalty so I can bask in all the whining about how their shiny new stadium is now the world's largest and most expensive paper weight.
 

InstaFace

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Wait until the NCAA goes all Jesus at the temple on your asses and lays waste to that cesspool you call an athletic department.
okaaayy, but... how long should we wait? Seems like it might take... forever.
 

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It's been said before but it must be repeated: FUCK BAYLOR. You fuckwads want biblical? Wait until the NCAA goes all Jesus at the temple on your asses and lays waste to that cesspool you call an athletic department.

I really hope they get the death penalty so I can bask in all the whining about how their shiny new stadium is now the world's largest and most expensive paper weight.
They're going to lose a few scholarships and pay some money to a charity. That's about all the NCAA will do here I'd guess. They're worthless, just look at UNC.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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They're worthless, just look at UNC.
No, no! That was academic fraud by the entire university! The athletes just happened to take advantage of it!

Actually, by that standard, Baylor should argue that, since some non-athletes have raped women on campus, Baylor's culture of rape is a university-wide issue, not an athletic issue, and therefore the NCAA has no jurisdiction.
 

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okaaayy, but... how long should we wait? Seems like it might take... forever.
It's either that or wait for the meteor.

I know nothing will happen but God damn it, something should. That place needs to be torched to the ground.