Briles Won’t Coach Grambling State After Public Backlash

Art Briles will not be Grambling State University’s next offensive coordinator. The former Baylor head coach told the program, according to a statement obtained by ESPN.

In that statement, Briles noted how he did not want to be a “distraction” to the Grambling State program.

brilesBriles was hired by first-year head coach Hue Jackson and was met with a whirlwind of backlash. In 2016, Briles was fired following a campus-wide sexual assault investigation that led to an independent investigation and his dismissal from the school.

Below is an excerpt from Pete Thamel’s report on ESPN regarding Briles stepping away.

Briles thanked Grambling State for the opportunity to be part of the staff in his statement and added: “Unfortunately, I feel that my continued presence will be a distraction to you and your team, which is the last thing that I want. I have the utmost respect [for] the university, and your players.”

His hiring last week was met with sharp criticism, including from former Grambling State star and coach Doug Williams, who told ESPN’s John Keim that he “can’t support it” and that late Grambling State coach “[Eddie] Robinson is turning over right now.”

The hiring drew even more ire on Monday when a statement released by the Hue Jackson Foundation reignited the controversy. The statement, which is attributed to Jackson, read in part: “We will continue to support Coach Briles and all victims of assault, violence, social and racial injustices and we will continue to provide equal opportunity for healing for everyone.”

A similar scenario played out when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL attempted to hire him in August 2017. The team pulled its offer to Briles on the same day it was extended because of the amount of backlash.

To read the full report from ESPN, click here.