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Baylor 'coaches' muddled investigations. Shouldn't more than just Art Briles be fired?

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West Virginia v Baylor Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

"Football coaches or staff met directly with a complainant [as in, an alleged sexual assault victim] and/or a parent of a complainant and did not report the misconduct."

That's a quote from the findings of fact given to Baylor's board of regents by law firm Pepper Hamilton, which the school commissioned to investigate its shameful responses to sexual assault claims, including many against former Bears football players.

We don't know what specific names, dates and places the firm uncovered. We'll wait and hope the school releases the entire report as well, rather than this summary. (Here's our lawyers' summary of the summary, condensing 13 pages to two or so.)

We do know that sentence alone should've been enough to get any involved party fired. Months of allegations and whatever else was uncovered surely contributed to Art Briles losing his job as head coach on Thursday. If it was found that Briles condoned one of his assistants interfering with sexual assault investigations, then the head coach had to go no matter what else was discovered. The same goes for if Pepper Hamilton found Briles himself was doing this.

Expensive law firms are not in the business of accidentally using the wrong noun forms. If they use a plural when they intend a singular, it's hard to imagine they'd repeat the mistake over and over.

"Some football coaches and staff took improper steps in response to disclosures of sexual assault or dating violence that precluded the University from fulfilling its legal obligations. Football staff conducted their own untrained internal inquiries," the law firm writes elsewhere.

There are multiple other such references to "coaches and staff" acting inappropriately. So when will those other coaches and staffers be fired?

[Astute legal mind Bud Elliott points out "coaches" could include coaches who'd already left the staff in previous years anyway. Because of that possibility, it would behoove BU even more to release a fuller report.]

School president and chancellor Ken Starr has been bumped down to chancellor, and athletic director Ian McCaw is on some sort of probation. BU says it's punishing other people as well, but without specifics yet.

What to do about the interim coaching position is another tricky (and much less important) matter.

Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett could be in line, according to FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman and Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde. Bennett technically has coaching experience, having gone 18-51 at SMU in a past life. But magnifying his presence would raise fierce questions about his role in the Sam Ukwuachu story, which kicked off the entire Baylor scandal.

In 2014, transfer defensive end Ukwuachu was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of sexual assault against a fellow Baylor athlete. One month later, Bennett said Ukwuachu had "some issues" and "will not practice for a while." One year later, Bennett said his mysteriously suspended lineman was "expected" to play soon. Seemingly unbeknownst to anybody in the local media, somehow, Ukwuachu's sexual assault trial would begin a month and a half after that second comment, and the player would be convicted.

Coaches talk about all roster things in the vaguest ways possible. Suspending a player who's facing an arrest, but not a conviction, is a common practice. I just don't see how Bennett's minor head coaching experience is worth drawing another round of legit scrutiny.

Forde also reports Kendal Briles, Art's son and the offensive coordinator, is expected to remain on staff. If the younger Briles did nothing wrong, he shouldn't be punished and firing him would likely cost some additional money, for what that's worth. But if he remains, BU will have to deal with, for instance, weekly references by game analysts to the Briles who's still on the sideline.


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Baylor fans have a lot to process right now. Our Daily Bears has two brief, but very good items: a lament for what the pride of New Baylor has done to the glory of Old Baylor and a call for BU to become a national leader in dealing with these crimes.

Here's some happy news. Rival "mascots" are sending LSU's Mike the Tiger some goodwill gifts for his battle against cancer. I don't know if tigers usually like flowers, but they're purple and gold, so they will surely lift his soul regardless.

Bill C team of the day: West Virginia, where Dana Holgorsen needs a big year and needs his team to play like just one team for a year.

This five-star defensive end wants to be a surgeon. We gave him an anatomy pop quiz on the field. Pretty impressive!

Baylor's roster fallout begins with a four-star tight end's decommitment.

No, the Baylor debacle isn't an NCAA matter. That would be like asking rookie mall cops to investigate a double homicide. Dan Wetzel explains. (BU did say it reached out to the NCAA, but so far there's been no indication of anything that would fall under the NCAA's defined jurisdiction. Anyone thinking Penn State established a new precedent should recall the NCAA would spend the following years battling in court over those sanctions and was conflicted about overstepping its bounds to begin with.)

Also no, what Briles' program did does not compare to the relatively minor misdeeds of other shamed coaches like Bobby Petrino or Jim Tressel.

Also also no, Briles' exit doesn't mean Dino Babers should be in a hurry to leave Syracuse. Again, why should Baylor want more members of the Briles coaching tree to stick around?

A Playoff in the 1980s could've been very good to Nebraska.

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