It’s been more than five months since Baylor fired Art Briles at the height of a scandal over Briles’ football program’s handling of sexual assault allegations against players. When Baylor fired Briles, the school didn’t provide answers on exactly what Briles had done wrong, and information has only recently started to trickle out.
On Oct. 28, the Wall Street Journal reported Briles had been notified of an alleged gang rape, one of several involving Baylor players. Briles, according to the report, didn’t notify the school’s judicial affairs or Title IX office.
Against TCU on Saturday night, the Bears will wear black uniforms, although the school called for a green-out back in June.
Weeks earlier, some fans announced plans to wear black shirts to this game in support of Briles.
— Baylor Revolution (@BayloRevolution) October 3, 2016
That appears to be underway.
“CAB” is an acronym for “Coach Art Briles.”
Some Baylor fans on social media pledged to wear black to the game instead of green, with some specifically citing Briles.
SB Nation’s Baylor blog, Our Daily Bears, urged fans to stick with the green theme.
Those black shirts are nods to Briles. What about the black uniforms?
Baylor has worn all-black uniforms before, it’s worth mentioning, and hasn’t commented publicly on this uniform decision.
Bears players voted for the uniforms, per TV station KWTX, and running back Jonathan Williams tweeted “Ima have #CAB all over me Saturday. Wbu BU?”
.@joelklatt says Baylor players came up to him before the game and "to a man" said they're not wearing black as any sort of protest.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 5, 2016
Another Baylor player, WR Chris Platt, tweeted, “This black out means more than just the uniforms to us. #truthdontlie,” a reference to a hashtag used by Briles and later by Baylor coaches in some sort of coordinated PR effort. Platt later clarified:
Then again, the majority of Baylor’s current coaching staff, which stayed on after Briles’ firing, released this statement Friday evening:
It’s difficult to verify any of this, obviously. Baylor never released the law firm report into its program’s handling of assault allegations, instead listening to an oral summary and releasing a list of findings of fact.
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News published Friday, Baylor regent David Harper also said Briles knew of at least one such allegation.
The university established its Title IX compliance office late in 2014, and the WSJ reported the gang-rape allegations had come “since 2011.” It’s not clear when the exchanges referenced here happened, specifically. The coaches claim there wasn’t a Title IX office when the woman’s head coach learned of the gang-rape allegation at issue. Briles, the coaches say, learned of it nine months after it allegedly happened.
The assistants’ statement isn’t clearly at odds with much of what’s been reported so far. The timing of Briles’ notification is immaterial without knowing what other steps had been taken in response to the allegation, and by whom.
Baylor’s coaches haven’t stopped supporting Briles since his dismissal
Briles’ son, Kendal, coached the Bears’ season opener with the acronym drawn on his hands.
The elder Briles showed up in the stands at Baylor’s game against Rice earlier this year, when Rice’s band poked fun at Baylor’s Title IX compliance with a marching band formation. Rice later apologized.
Briles had said he wants to return to coaching, and he recently surfaced as a guest coach at a Cleveland Browns practice.
"What happened at Baylor's at Baylor," Browns coach Hue Jackson said then.