On May 26th, Baylor University fired head football coach Art Briles for his role in covering up a string of sexual assaults committed by football players. Today, Chip Brown of HornsDigest is reporting that Briles met with some key members of the board of regents to discuss the possibility of bringing him back as coach, with a one-year suspension instead. (Bleacher Report's Jason King tweeted that he could confirm this report.) The move would be an awkward one for many reasons, including the fact that Baylor already hired former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe to replace Briles.
"There are those among the Baylor leadership who feel the major failings of the BU rape scandal fall on former president Ken Starr for the school not having a Title IX coordinator from 2011-2014, sources said. If BU had a Title IX coordinator, the football coaching staff would have had training on how to handle any complaints of rape made against football players, sources said.
"Those members of the BU leadership who say Briles should have been spared while Starr should have been the fall guy for the scandal are getting a lot of pressure from big-money donors who say they'll stop giving to the university if Briles isn't brought back as coach in 2017, sources said."
We can debate the necessity of a Title IX coordinator in training adult men not to cover up sexual assaults in order to protect their football team, but it's plain that money still talks at Baylor. HornsDigest notes that it remains uncertain whether the big-money donors will be able to get the votes necessary to reinstate Briles, but they are pushing for the vote today. It's unclear whether Briles would be open to this reshuffling, but he's currently an out-of-work coach who oversaw a massive sexual assault scandal involving many of his players, so he'll surely think about it.
If they can't get the votes to bring him back, the school will likely settle Briles's contract for somewhere between $15 and $25 million of his remaining $40 million deal.