College Sports

Football coach involved in a college sex scandal is not welcome in Canada

Art Briles answers questions after being introduced as the new coach of the Baylor University football team in 2007.
Art Briles answers questions after being introduced as the new coach of the Baylor University football team in 2007. AP

Art Briles, the former football coach at Baylor University, was hired by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League on Monday.

He was also let go by the Ticats on Monday.

Briles, fired last year after a long investigation into the Baylor program because of numerous sexual assault allegations, was announced as an offensive assistant coach for the winless CFL team under new coach June Jones.

After social media lashed out against the league and team, the CFL announced on Monday night that Briles would not be hired by the Tiger-Cats.

Jones, who was the head coach of the Falcons, Chargers, SMU and Hawaii, was recently hired as Hamilton’s head coach. He and Briles have a long relationship which dates to Briles’ high school coaching days in Texas.

The Tiger-Cats are 0-8 after reaching the Grey Cup league championship game just three seasons ago.

“Art Briles will no longer be joining the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a coach,” the CFL wrote in a joint statement with the Ontario-based football team.

“We came to this decision this evening following a lengthy discussion between the league and the Hamilton organization. We wish Mr. Briles all the best in his future endeavors.”

Baylor fired Briles last summer in the midst of a wide-ranging sexual assault scandal which is ongoing through the courts.

The NCAA has also investigated claims that Baylor not only ignored or covered up reports of sexual assaults by its football players, but used women as a recruiting tool at the Baptist school based in Waco, Texas.

Over a dozen lawsuits have been filed against Baylor with Briles named in many of them.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Weirdly they left a key part off of Art Briles’s bio <a href="https://t.co/bmTrBrlzWV">pic.twitter.com/bmTrBrlzWV</a></p>&mdash; dan solo (@dansolomon) <a href="https://twitter.com/dansolomon/status/902193071097606144">August 28, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Out of work since last year,. it appeared Briles would slide onto the sideline of the CFL’s Tiger-Cats with his old pal Jones.

The Tiger-Cats sent out a short release announcing the hiring on Monday.

Hamilton CEO Scott Mitchell told 3downnation.com on Monday that the league was aware of the team hiring Briles and said it came down to “whether a person deserves a second chance.”

We were very well aware of [the scandal] and it’s been a long deliberation internally, collecting information, talking to as many people as possible, quite frankly getting the facts about things straightened away,” Mitchell said in the interview.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hamilton&#39;s hiring of Art Briles is a disgrace. Some things never change. <a href="https://t.co/YLdTU8yIgJ">https://t.co/YLdTU8yIgJ</a></p>&mdash; Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) <a href="https://twitter.com/bruce_arthur/status/902326052718088193">August 29, 2017</a></blockquote>

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“The history is that June Jones and Art Briles have known each other for decades and June was very forthright about what the situation was and the more we contemplated it, deliberated over it ... we just thought it was a very serious situation but we also felt that after talking to dozens of people, people we trust, people we admire, that Art Briles a is a good man that was caught in a very bad situation.

“Clearly, some serious mistakes were made along the way but we feel strongly that people deserve second chances and that’s what we’ve decided to do with Art Briles.”

Later, however, team owner Bob Young tweeted out that CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie “saved the @Ticats from a major blunder today.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/CFL">@CFL</a>&#39;s <a href="https://twitter.com/RandyAmbrosie">@RandyAmbrosie</a> saved the <a href="https://twitter.com/Ticats">@Ticats</a> from a major blunder today. Longer mea culpa coming tomorrow.</p>&mdash; Bob Young (@CaretakerBob) <a href="https://twitter.com/CaretakerBob/status/902359111110717441">August 29, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Of course, the story has a South Florida angle.

Briles is the father of first-year FAU offensive coordinator Kendal Briles who was retained by Baylor for the 2016 season after his father was let go last summer. The scandal also cost the school president and athletic director their jobs.

Earlier this month, Kendal Briles spoke to the media for the first time since being hired by new FAU coach Lane Kiffin and said that Art Briles had “definitely involved” in the FAU offense as he had watched tape and offered advice in an unofficial manner.

“He's a football coach,” Kendal Briles said as reported by the Palm Beach Post.

“That's all he's ever been. So he's definitely involved and we talk daily.”

MIAMI HERALD FOOTBALL: FAU coach Lane Kiffin gives the Owls a new nickname — Last Strike U

That comment led Kiffin to come out and distance his program from Art Briles, telling ESPN that while he had called the former Baylor coach “once or twice” to let him know his son was doing a good job — “he’s a coach’s dad, just like mine” — the senior Briles had nothing to do with the Owls’ program.

Kendal Briles, 34, is installing the same offense Baylor used to go from one of the worst programs in college football before Art Briles took over to the top of the Big 12 Conference. The younger Briles has also been named in at least one lawsuit alledging wide-spread problems within the football program.

ESPN: Lane Kiffin says Art Briles has nothing to do with FAU football

“Somebody texted me and wanted to know why I hired Art Briles, and I was like, 'What?’ He's absolutely not a consultant and has never been to practice or spoken to our team,” Kiffin said.

“That's classic 'somebody trying to make it a story' because it's Art Briles and Lane Kiffin.”

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