Grambling State hires Art Briles as coach

Editor’s Note: This story contains accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at https://www.rainn.org.

A Grambling State spokesperson said Sports Illustrated’s Richard Johnson that the football program has added former Baylor coach Art Briles to its coaching staff. A spokesperson said Athleticism he was hired as an offensive coordinator.

Briles was fired from Baylor in 2016 after a massive scandal in which he and Baylor directors ignored dozens allegations of sexual assault. He hasn’t coached in college football since.

There were at least 52 acts of rape committed by 31 different players between 2011 and 2014, including five gang rapes, according to a 2017 lawsuit filed by a former student. Briles allegedly ignored the accounts and covered up the assaults.

Following the scandal, a law firm hired by Baylor to review its handling of sexual violence found that the football program and athletic department failed to “identify and respond to a pattern of sexual violence by a football player”.

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“In some cases, including reports of sexual assault by multiple football players, athletics and football personnel have affirmatively chosen not to report sexual abuse and dating violence to an appropriate administrator outside athletics”, the findings of fact published by the university stated. “In these cases, coaches or football staff met directly with a complainant and/or a complainant’s parent and did not report the misconduct.”

Not only was Briles fired, but Baylor chairman Ken Starr and sporting director Ian McCaw were also out. Two Baylor players, Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu, have been convicted of sexual assault. Elliott was sentenced to 20 years in prison, while Ukwuachu was sentenced to 180 days in prison and 10 years probation.

Since then, Briles has played in the CFL, Italian Football League and coached high school football. SI reached out to school president Rick Gallot on Thursday to ask, “How does Grambling plan to ensure female students will be safe on campus with football players that Art Briles will recruit?” and waits for a response.

In November, the NCAA released its findings from the investigation and could not determine that Baylor violated NCAA rules in its handling of sexual and interpersonal violence.

Briles will appear on NBC 6 Sports on Thursday to talk about his hiring.

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