The hiring of Art Briles last week sent shockwaves through the sports and media world. His name has been tainted since the despicable things that occurred at Baylor under his watch and has been virtually blacklisted from coaching anywhere at the college level until he was hired by Grambling State.
The university went as far as to refute claims that Briles was being hired before the news broke, but obviously, the hire has been confirmed at this point, so now the public relations (PR) battle ensues.
Head coach Hue Jackson released a statement on the hire last week, making sure that his university’s hands are clean of all the issues that “follow” Briles to Louisiana.
“The Hue Jackson Foundation has been dedicated to fighting against ALL forms of sexual abuse and exploitation as well as other forms of racial and social bias,” Jackson wrote. “We have a clear understanding of the role that coaches and others who have a position of trust play in the lives of those they meet.
“We also know and understand the process of identifying risks, helping others to heal, and the importance of prevention. We believe that through the hiring of Coach Briles and the well-developed programs we have in place, this hire will be instrumental in teaching others the importance of knowing how to prevent victimization, proper reporting procedures, provide adequate resources to individuals who have been victimized and develop strong law enforcement partnerships within the community.”
This will certainly be a story that resurfaces from time to time given the nature of Art Briles past, but it seems that Grambling feels comfortable with the hire. Is that the right call? For me, it’s certainly not.