According to multiple reports, Baylor University and Art Briles have reached a settlement deal to end the tenure of Briles as head football coach. Briles, fired on May 26th as fallout to the Pepper Hamilton report, was the head coach at Baylor for 8 season, including two Big 12 Championships and a 65-37 record.
Since Briles firing, there has been speculation in the recent week of a reunion between Baylor and Briles. With the details still very much vague in regards to the Pepper Hamilton report, a push by major donors and several regents to leverage Briles' firing as a way to get more details released failed to gain traction.
Several board conversations were held over the past week, though rumors of an actual vote on Briles' status proved to be false. With stadium namesake, Drayton McLane, and three BAA sponsored board members being briefed on the Pepper Hamilton findings yesterday, there was still some hope that Briles could come back to Baylor after a year long suspension.
Later in the afternoon, Briles' legal team filed legal briefings claiming that his termination was wrongful and that Baylor used Briles as a scapegoat to cover up the Universities failings.
“The conclusion is inescapable that the motive of Baylor and the Board of Regents was to use its head football coach and the Baylor athletic department as a camouflage to disguise and distract from its own institutional failure to comply with federal civil rights protections,” Briles’s lawyer wrote in the briefings.
Briles, the BAA and many other major donors have publicly requested that more of the details of the report be released to give clarity of blame and to show what was actually done by Briles and his staff, the athletic department, and the University.
With this settlement, that appears even more unlikely. Interim President David Garland has said several times that the 13-page Facts of Findings is the only information Baylor will release.
Acting Head Coach Jim Grobe was hired on May 30th, retaining all of Briles existing staff. We have reported that the staff and Grobe have been told their contracts are up at the end of the football season, when a full search for the leader of Baylor football will begin.