TSN’s Dave Naylor is reporting that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are in possession of a letter from Baylor University to their former head coach Art Briles “which seems to separate him from the most egregious allegations” in relation to the school’s sexual assault scandal.
From Naylor’s report:
“If you go back to June of 2015 when Briles and the University had a settlement and Briles dropped his wrongly dismissal suit against the school there certainly would have been an agreed upon set of facts in that agreement and some of those perhaps Briles could use in pursuit of another job.
“In fact, Briles was in possession of a letter that he was allowed to use to see employment – I’ve seen the letter, the Ticats have the letter –which seems to separate him from the most egregious allegations: that he had contact with people who said they were victims of sexual assault; that he discouraged them from coming forward and that he knowingly played players that had been responsible for sexual assault. Whether the Ticats were going to put that letter into the public forum, whether they could, it was one of those things that gave them a degree of comfort hiring Briles.”
3DownNation has confirmed the existence of the letter and that the Ticats are in possession.
Briles was fired as the head coach of Baylor University in May, 2016 after an investigation discovered the school mishandled numerous sexual assault allegations, including some against football players and that “football personnel chose not to report sexual violence and dating violence.” One former player is serving a 20-year sentence for sexual assault and the school is facing a number of lawsuits, not to mention ongoing investigations by state and federal authorities as well as the NCAA.
Briles settled with Baylor the following month. The terms of the financial settlement were not disclosed, and Briles was owed $40 million on the remainder of his contract.
The Ticats hired Briles on Monday to serve as assistant head coach of the offence and team CEO Scott Mitchell initially defended the move, despite strong opposition from fans, sponsors and the CFL.
“Art was exonerated by his own university, he certainly had nothing to do with no criminal discussions or proceedings,” Mitchell said in an interview following the hire.
But the team and the CFL announced later Monday that Briles would not be joining the club and owner Bob Young has repeatedly apologized for the decision.