On Saturday, the story coming out of Norman, Oklahoma wasn’t about the football team. The Sooners played the SMU Mustangs, and the headlines should have been about their 28-11 victory to get to 2-0. Instead, the headlines were about someone who wasn’t even a part of the game.
After the win, a photo was taken of Art Briles (yes, that Art Briles that was the central figure in the Baylor rape scandal) talking to Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby. Not only was he on the field after the game, but he was also wearing an Oklahoma shirt as well.
For those who don’t know, Briles is the farther-in-law of Jeffy Lebby and is also the grandfather of his kids. While I understand that family is important, what I don’t understand is how he even got on the field in the first place.
When head coach Brent Venables was asked if he was aware of Briles being there his response was, “I was made aware just before I came in here (for postgame interviews) that he was, and I think that’s being dealt with — and already has been.”
“That’s my father-in-law. He’s my father-in-law,” Lebby explained in his postgame press conference. “That’s the grandfather to my two kids. So, he was down with our entire family after the game, well after the game. He was down there with the entire family.”
Whether he is your dad, father-in-law, friend or whatever it may be, there is no reason that Art Briles should be on the field, or even in the stadium for that matter. Now, if you are reading this then you have probably already read the article that my boss Pete Mundo wrote on this matter. For the record, I don’t agree with Pete’s take.
While yes, Pete is the owner of the website that doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything he says. That’s the beauty of being a blogger of an independent website. We all have our own unique opinions and are free to express them and here. I am disagreeing with my own boss on a public platform. And he’s willingly publishing it. And to be clear, I didn’t care for the shots taken at the Oklahoma media either. They asked a question I probably wouldn’t have had the balls to ask.
Pete does mention that he wouldn’t let Art Briles clean toilets in his athletic department, and I agree with that 100%.
After the game, Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione released the following statement:
“I was just as disappointed as many of our fans when I learned of the postgame situation tonight. It shouldn’t have happened, and it was my expectation it never would, based on boundaries we previously set. I’ve addressed it with the appropriate staff.”
This whole thing seems like a complete miscommunication that turned out disastrous.
Whether it was Jeff Lebby not telling anyone or someone not doing their job, you just can’t let this happen. No school wants a man like Art Briles on their field wearing their logo. While Art Briles may be family to Jeff Lebby, sometimes it’s best to leave the family at home, especially when your father-in-law is Art Briles.