Briles departs GSU staff citing distractions

Is Briles hiring worth the noise:


Art Briles saw the writing on the wall.

Or at least the writing in national, regional and local media outlets.

On Monday afternoon, just four days after he was hired by Hue Jackson as an assistant coach at Grambling State, Briles resigned.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported it first and within the following hour, Briles confirmed the news through social media avenues.

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of your coaching staff at Grambling State University,” read the social media graphic with Briles’ photo. “Unfortunately, I feel that my continued presence will be a distraction to you and your team, which is the last thing that I want. I have the utmost respect for the University, and your players.”

It was a risky decision by Jackson and GSU officials. Briles’ name has been a lightning rod since 2016 when he was dismissed as the Baylor head coach due to allegations of trying to cover up sexual misconduct by players within the Big 12 program.

It brought a firestorm of national coverage, none of it good.

And although the following few years saw some evidence and testimony come out that brought more light upon the scandal, it didn’t completely paint Briles as innocent. Baylor president Ken Starr and AD Ian McCaw resigned in the wake of the scandal as well.

To this day, there is still uncertainty of who knew what and did or did not do what surrounding exactly what occurred in Waco, but there is still enough evidence to paint those within the program at that time in a bad light.

Briles hiring at GSU quickly drew pushback from some Tiger alums, including Super Bowl winning quarterback Doug Williams who was outspoken when commenting on the decision.

“I don’t know Art Briles; I’ve never met him in my life,” Williams told the Washington Post on Friday. “But the situation, nobody else would hire him for whatever reason. I don’t know why Grambling State had to go be the one to hire him, so I’m not a fan at all.”

Williams even took it a step further when asked if he would continue to support his alma mater.

“Oh, no. I can’t do that,” said Williams. “No. No. No. If I support them, I condone it.”

Briles’ decision to depart – if it was truly his – was the right one for the Grambling program as it will hopefully allow the fanbase to once again unite behind their newly hired head coach.

An email sent to a Grambling State athletic communications specialist late Monday afternoon asking for a statement from the school was not responded to by deadline. GSU is out for Mardi Gras break.

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