Florida State University

FSU’s playcaller was on staff at Baylor during ’16 scandal. This is what fans are saying

Kendal Briles, hired as Florida State’s primary play caller, was an assistant under his father during Baylor’s sexual abuse scandal.
Kendal Briles, hired as Florida State’s primary play caller, was an assistant under his father during Baylor’s sexual abuse scandal. AP

Some Florida State football fans and students felt uncomfortable about the Seminoles hiring Kendal Briles as their offensive coordinator, according to a Tampa Bay Times report.

The Tampa Bay Times obtained emails through a public records request that shows outrage among some student body members and fans at hiring Briles, due to him being an assistant coach at Baylor during its sexual assault scandal.

Nineteen players were accused of sexual or domestic assault, with Briles’ father, head coach Art, as well as then-university president Ken Starr and Baylor’s athletic director losing their jobs when the scandal erupted in 2016.

The emails, which also came from FSU alums, were directed at university president John Thrasher and interim athletic director David Coburn, the news outlet reported.

“Since 2013, I have defended my school against those that say FSU doesn’t care about sexual assault, and was willing to look the other way when winning mattered,” one woman wrote to Thrasher, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Another email, the Times reported, echoed what others wrote Thrasher.

“Simply put, we are — or should be — better than this…” FSU alumnus Steve Muscatello wrote to Thrasher, the news outlet reported.

The NCAA completed its investigation into Baylor’s football program in October, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Kendal Briles spent last season as Houston’s offensive coordinator and was an assistant at Florida Atlantic in 2017. Any specific wrongdoing by Baylor assistants at the time remains a mystery, according to multiple reports.

Briles’ contract was finalized in December for $1 million per year.

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Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.

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