Art Briles appeared to have wanted to keep the fight going against his former school after he was fired, but it now seems as if the coach has dropped his lawsuit against Baylor University. As most who have been following the saga of Art Briles and Baylor know, the coach was fired after an investigation found he had little to no control over his team. While it seemed like the former coach was going to go out quietly, there has been a bit of noise over the last week.
The man who took Baylor from a laughing stock in the college football world, to one of the best teams in the country, launched a lawsuit against the school weeks after his firing, claiming the school committed wrongful termination. Deadspin reports the two parties appear to have reached an agreement that Baylor is likely to have wanted to avoid at all costs. The problem here is that, should the lawsuit have moved forward, there would have been a mountain of documents that would have gone public.
While Briles has already been dragged through the mud for his part in a number of sexual assault complaints against Baylor players, the school has attempted to claim the administration knew very little about what was going on with the football team. The documents that would have gone public during the lawsuit could have shed light on how the school handled the accusations. While Baylor is likely going to claim the only reason they settled was to make the ugliness go away, there’s also enough there to wonder just how damning those documents were going to be.
Earlier this week, Art Briles lashed out at his now-former school claiming he was being used as a fall guy and as “camouflage to disguise and distract from its own institutional failure to comply with Title IX and other federal civil rights laws.” Briles went one step further, filing a suit that would allow him to no longer be represented by the school’s attorney in a Title IX lawsuit by one of the victims.
ESPN reports Baylor appears to be quite happy that they were able to make this agreement, with one of the regents proclaiming the “Art Briles era is over.” Clifton Robinson was told the agreement was reached fairly quickly after the lawsuit was officially launched. The regent claims there was a conference call on Thursday night that he refused to take part in. On Friday morning, he was informed this agreement had been reached.
Because Robinson wasn’t able to be present for the phone call, he says he doesn’t know what the terms of the agreement entail. Baylor suspended Briles with an intent to terminate on May 26 and because the school had the intention of firing him, it appears they would have been on the hook for about $40 million thanks to eight years being left on a new 10-year contract. Robinson commented on the settlement.
“I think it’s a very positive thing for Baylor University to put this behind us and move forward.”
The regent says the school had already given its attorneys the ability to cut a deal. This meant they could move quickly because they didn’t have to come back to the school in order to get permission to reach a settlement. While Briles has not commented on whether or not the settlement has officially been reached, he did file a motion to rescind the desire to not be represented by Baylor’s attorneys.
The entire report of a settlement between the two parties is currently coming from Baylor because no one from Briles’ side is talking. The coach’s lawyer wasn’t even talking about whether settlement talks were in process. While it seems the reports are true, we won’t know for a while what Art Briles got in return for dropping his suit.
[Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images]