Former Baylor football coach Art Briles is suing three Baylor regents and the school’s vice president for administration and finance, alleging libel and a conspiracy to keep him from getting another job in coaching.
Briles’ suit accuses the regents, specifically, of falsely telling media outlets the coach was aware of alleged gang rapes by Baylor players and didn’t properly report them.
Deadspin published a copy of the entire suit, which also alleges school officials have conspired to keep Briles from getting another job as a coach.
Baylor fired Briles after commissioning a law firm to investigate the handling of sexual assault allegations against football players and broader Title IX compliance. Briles says he was firing wrongly.
The university never released the contents of that report, which it said were delivered to officials orally, but it dismissed Briles as a result all the same. Athletic director Ian McCaw resigned and has since landed at Liberty. Baylor later cut ties with president Ken Starr, who’s asserted plausible deniability and is unsurprisingly working on a book.
In October, the Wall Street Journal published the account of Baylor regents who said Briles had been made aware of reported gang rapes by BU players and didn’t report them. One such story:
In one of the alleged gang rapes, the victim, who also was an athlete, told her coach that she didn’t want to go the police. When notified of the allegation, Mr. Briles told the victim’s coach that he hoped she would go to the police, according to people familiar with the matter. One person close to the victim said she viewed Mr. Briles as supportive of her claim. However, Mr. Briles didn’t notify the school’s judicial-affairs office or the Title IX office, these people said.
Baylor regents said that the board reviewed evidence, including text messages and emails between the alleged victims and the players, that supported the sexual-assault accusations, but that the probe didn’t attempt to conclusively substantiate all of the allegations.
The Journal report is the clearest rationale provided to date for why Baylor fired Briles. It’s also specifically named as containing false statements in Briles’ suit against Baylor. But the suit is solely against the Baylor officials, not against any media outlet.
When Baylor fired Briles, it retained his assistant coaching staff, members of which have feuded openly over Briles with the school’s administration. Former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe coached the Bears this season, but the school just hired Temple’s Matt Rhule as Briles’ long-term replacement.
Briles’ suit was filed in Llano County, in central Texas. Baylor is located in McLennan County, but Briles lived in Llano at the time of his “cause of action.”
The officials named in Briles’ suit, according to the AP, are Baylor regents Ronald Murff, J. Cary Gray and David Harper, and vice president Reagan Ramsower.