Sources: BU regents to reconsider Briles

Multiple sources told the Baylor board of regents on Monday will consider a one-year suspension for football coach Art Briles.


I'm hearing there was a 6 pm CT meeting Monday, including teleconference involving regents and Art Briles or his representation allowing Briles' side of things to be expressed to regents (in a way that didn't happen during the last week in May). That meeting was expected to go late into the night. 

I'm hearing - one way or the other - after tonight or early Tuesday we'll know if there's a desire to bring Briles back after a year-long suspension and that if the votes aren't there among the regents, then mediation of Briles' contract would begin on Tuesday afternoon. 

Some sources told HD the votes weren't there to bring Briles back, while others said they thought it would be close. BU currently lists a regents board with 34 voting members.

Briles has just less than $40 million guaranteed on the remaining eight years of his contract, sources told HD. A settlement between $15 million and $25 million with Briles would be likely if Briles was terminated, sources said.

The push to have the regents consider a one-year suspension for Briles on Monday is being driven by some of the biggest big-money donors at the school - many of whom helped fund BU's $300 million football stadium that opened in 2014, sources told HD.


Sources said Briles met with some key figures associated with the school last Thursday about the possibility of a one-year suspension as the Bears' football coach. It's unclear how Briles would feel about the move, sources said. Sources say Briles felt betrayed when he was "suspended with intent to terminate" at the end of May after being led to believe by some of BU's heaviest hitters that Briles would be retained while former Baylor president Ken Starr would be the one to go.


There are those among the Baylor leadership who feel the major failings of the BU rape scandal fall on Starr for the school not having a Title IX coordinator from 2011-2014, sources said. If BU had a Title IX coordinator, the football coaching staff would have had training on how to handle any complaints of rape or assault made against football players, sources said.

Those sources said the Pepper Hamilton investigation of Baylor's Title IX woes revealed 125 Title IX complaints of assault or sexual assault against Baylor co-eds campus-wide from 2011 through 2014 with 12 of those being tied to football/athletics. They contend Starr was negligent in failing to implement a Title IX coordinator during that time and that the Pepper Hamilton report proves it.


Those members of the BU leadership who say Briles should have been spared while Starr should have been the fall guy for the scandal are getting a lot of pressure from big-money donors who say they'll stop giving to the university if Briles isn't brought back as coach in 2017, sources said.

Sources also told that Baylor is in the process of settling Starr's tenured professorship in the BU law school so that Starr is completely disassociated with the university going forward. Starr has already been removed as president and then resigned the position of chancellor.

Athletic director Ian McCaw, who had been under suspension, resigned his post after helping the school hire  former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe as BU's interim football coach.

Sources also told HD there is no written version of the report by the Pepper Hamilton law firm, commissioned by Starr to investigate BU's handling of rape and assault claims on campus, including at least six Baylor co-eds who said they were raped or assaulted by Bears' football players. Two of those players - Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu - were convicted of rape and are currently serving prison sentences.

The only information from the Pepper Hamilton report provided to BU officials has been done through oral briefings, sources told HD.

Baylor hired Grobe to head the Bears' football team in 2016 while retaining all of Briles' offensive and defensive assistant coaches. I'm told Grobe was hired at more than $1 million and that bonuses could take his salary to roughly $1.5 million for 2016. Mack Brown and Tommy Bowden were also considered, sources told HD.

Roughly a half dozen Baylor recruits who are incoming freshmen have indicated they want a release from their letters of intent so they can enroll elsewhere. Baylor has 30 days to respond to these requests, and Grobe is using that time to speak with those recruits and their families to try to get them to reconsider, sources said.

If those 2016 signees still want out of their letters of intent at the end of the month, they'll get their release, sources told HD.

I'm told those most directing traffic at BU right now are new regents chair Ronald Murff as well as regents members Bob Beauchamp of Houston and Bill Simon, the former CEO of Wal-Mart.

I'm also told a couple names to file away as possible candidates to become president at Baylor:

* Elizabeth Davis, the president at Furman and former provost at Baylor

* Greg Jones, current provost at BU who came from Duke (has only been at BU about a month)

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