Tag Archives: Baylor University

Mount Vernon HS grid coach brings trouble … who knew?

A part of me isn’t terribly surprised by the story that developed over yonder at Mount Vernon High School. Then again, is it fair to lay the responsibility of this tempest at the feet of the newly hired football coach? Oh, probably not.

But still …

Two Mount Vernon High School football players have been ruled ineligible to play. The school won’t suffer any forfeiture of games after playing these student-athletes during the team’s first five games of this football season. The University Interscholastic League had considered the forfeiture on the basis of the players enrolling at Mount Vernon simply to play football; the UIL thought differently. It won’t take away the first five wins from Mount Vernon, but the players remain ineligible.

Here, though, is where it gets weird. The new Mount Vernon HS head coach is Art Briles, the former head coach at Baylor University. Briles was fired in the wake of a sex scandal that occurred in Waco involving student-athletes who played for Briles. A law firm hired by Baylor determined that Briles should have acted to prevent the sexual assaults that were occurring, but didn’t.

The scandal also cost the athletic director his job as well as that of the president of the school, Kenneth Starr. Briles was shown the door. He coached football abroad for a couple of years before he got the call to coach Mount Vernon High School.

So, now he’s back in the game (so to speak) in this country. Granted, the eligibility issue concerning the two young men who were deemed ineligible has not a thing to do with the nature of the scandal that erupted at Baylor University.

It just seems to me that trouble seems to follow Art Briles.

Or ‚Ķ maybe it’s just a coincidence.

Strange, man.

Coach Briles is 5-0 … and that doesn’t make it all better!

Here it comes, sports fans.

Mount Vernon High School — over yonder in East Texas — has opened its 2019 football season with five straight wins. Their new coach, Art Briles, came to his job with a huge cloud hanging over his head owing to his dismissal as head football coach at Baylor University.

What is coming? The justification from some football fans that it’s OK for Mount Vernon Independent School District officials to have hired Briles to coach these young men even though he is tainted by a scandal that threatened to swallow up the Baylor program.

The scandal involved some student-athletes who were raping women around Waco. Those athletes were players under Briles’s tenure as the head coach at Baylor. He said this was going on with his knowledge of it. The Baylor regents were buying it. They dismissed Briles, the athletic director quit and, oh yes, the Baylor University chancellor, a fellow named Kenneth Starr, was demoted; he eventually left the university. Why mention Starr? Well, because he was special counsel during the Bill Clinton inquiry into, um, sexual misconduct involving the president — which ended up with Clinton being impeached by the House of Representatives in 1998.

Does an unblemished record expunge Briles from the scandal that took him away from a winning Division I college football program? Not in the least. I remain dubious about his hiring at Mount Vernon HS in the first place. The board of trustees could have found another highly qualified coach without the taint that stained Briles at Baylor.

But hey, as the saying goes: Winning is everything!

Weird, man.

Once more about hiring Briles at Mount Vernon HS

I got raked over the coals for an earlier blog post critical of a hiring decision at Mount Vernon High School in East Texas.

A fellow who criticized my blog post stood behind the hiring of former Baylor University head football coach Art Briles as the head coach at Mount Vernon HS.

He said this: You are talking about one of the best coaches our state has ever seen. He deserves a second chance. Yes he made mistakes but a college coach cannot babysit all of their players.

I feel the need to respond briefly with — yep! — another blog post.

Briles was fired in 2016 as Baylor’s head coach after he covered up allegations of sexual assault by his players on women at Baylor. The scandal swallowed the campus damn near whole. It also swept away the university’s chancellor, Kenneth Starr, who resigned.

Here is what I cannot accept about the idea that Mount Vernon Independent School District was looking for a first-rate football coach before hiring Art Briles: Texas is a gigantic state chock full of fine football coaches who aren’t tainted by the indelible stain of a sex scandal!

Football is a big deal in this state. Isn’t that what we all recognize? Sure it is!

Therefore, I am baffled, puzzled and utterly astonished that Mount Vernon ISD would turn to a guy with the baggage that Art Briles brings to this job. The Dallas Morning News noted today in an editorial that while Briles is likely to coach his team to a lot of wins on the field, the football program well could be sullied by the history Briles brings to his new job.

I just believe that Mount Vernon ISD could have done so much better than to hire a guy who got fired from his college coaching job because the young men he was assigned to lead toward adulthood became involved in a case of serial sexual assault!

This is the best that a public school system could do?


Mount Vernon ISD has just made a big mistake

Art Briles is back in the game.

It ain’t the same as the game he coached while at Baylor University. It’s still the game, on the high school level.

To my way of thinking, this former college head football coach doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near the young men he is going to coach.

Briles got fired from Baylor in May 2016 because of a string of incidents involving players under his charge. They were charged with committing sexual assault on female students at the faith-based university in Waco, Texas. Briles became the face of the scandal.

He got the boot in 2016. Now he’s going to coach high schoolers at Mount Vernon High way over yonder in Deep East Texas.

I am filled with the question: What in the world is the Mount Vernon Independent School District thinking?

If I were king of the world I wouldn’t put this guy anywhere near these young men.

The coach is damaged goods, man! He got fired for cause at Baylor.

Sure, I get that winning matters. Briles already has coached high school teams in Texas successfully, winning state titles while at Stephenville High School. It’s clear to me that at Mount Vernon, winning must matter more than character.

An athletic coach’s responsibility as often as not goes far beyond just ensuring that his teams win more games than they lose. He becomes a sort of surrogate father, someone who should shepherd the young people he leads into leading good and productive lives.

Did the former Baylor coach succeed in that fulfilling that duty? Hardly. Has he learned his lesson? That remains to be seen.

However, I am still scratching my head wondering how in the world a public school district could put its faith in someone who failed so miserably in that important task.

Ken Starr calls it quits at Baylor


Oh, the irony of it all.

Kenneth Starr has quit his job as a law professor at Baylor University. You’ve heard of him, yes?

He once was a special counsel who was hired by Congress to investigate a real estate deal involving President Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton. Then the investigation turned into something quite different. He began sniffing around about allegations of an affair between the president and a young White House intern.

His investigation resulted in the impeachment of the president on grounds that he lied under oath about the affair to a federal grand jury. The Senate acquitted Clinton.

Starr moved on, first to Pepperdine University and then to Baylor.

But … while he served as president of Baylor, the university got caught up — wait for it! — in a sex scandal involving star football players. The school was accused of covering up some serious misbehavior.

It all happened on Starr’s watch.


The head football coach was fired. The athletic director quit. Starr was demoted from president to chancellor. He kept his classroom job.

Now he’s quit the professor post, severing his ties with the university.

Do you get the irony? Sex propelled Ken Starr to a form of political stardom and sex has caused his fall from grace at a major Texas university.

As the saying goes: Karma’s a bitch, man.

Nix the talk about bringing back Baylor coach

Dear Baylor University Board of Regents:

I’ll get right to the point.

Do not even think for a moment about returning disgraced former head football coach Art Briles to the university that’s been scarred by his negligence.

There. I feel better already.

How quickly you seem to¬†have forgotten about that nine-month investigation that concluded that under his watch, the Baylor football program “posed a risk to campus safety and the integrity of the University.”

The probe was damning on its face about the conduct of your athletic department in the face of the sexual assault convictions against two Baylor football players. Athletic officials covered it up … to their everlasting shame.

You did the right thing when you¬†demoted university president Ken Starr; athletic director Ian McCaw’s resignation was correct, too.

Briles’ termination also was the right thing to do.

And yet …

We keep hearing about a high-dollar booster who wants to bring Briles back to the sidelines. Why? Probably because he produced a winning football program at the expense of the university’s stellar reputation.

You took no vote on Briles’ status. Fine.

Now take the next step and issue a formal statement declaring that there ain’t no way in the world the man’s coming back as head coach.

I’ll be waiting for your response.


Baylor announces much-needed reforms


It would seem logical to presume that an institution with Baylor University’s stellar reputation would be among the last places on Earth where one could expect to witness an unfolding sex scandal.

It’s a faith-based university known for its high moral standards. Isn’t that right?

It’s also known as a place where they play some pretty good college football.

So, some football players get entangled in a sexual assault case and the university allegedly turns its back on the complaints filed by students against the athletes.

The uproar has been ferocious. With absolutely justifiable reason.

Baylor now has announced plans to implement recommendations from a panel formed to fix what’s wrong at the school.


The Pepper Hamilton commission has found a “fundamental failure” at Baylor to uphold federal Title IX provisions that are supposed to protect students from abuses such as what occurred at the school.

One player has been convicted of sexual assault, but the stuff hit the fan after it was revealed that university administrators tried to hide the complaints against athletes.

Head football coach Art Briles was fired. University president Ken Starr was kicked out of his office and he quit his ceremonial job as chancellor; he remains on the faculty as a law professor.  Athletic director Ian McCaw resigned.

All three of those individuals had to go.

Now it’s up to Baylor to pick up the pieces of its shattered reputation.

The Texas Tribune reports: ‚ÄúLet me assure you all that we are deeply sorry for the harm done to students in our care,‚ÄĚ interim president David Garland wrote in a letter posted online. ‚ÄúEven during the course of Pepper Hamilton’s investigation, we began adopting improvements to our processes, and now we are pursuing the other improvements remaining in the recommendations.‚ÄĚ

Pressure is mounting for the school to release the contents of the Pepper Hamilton report.

That seems like a good start to clearing the air and shining the light of accountability on what has occurred at the school.

I’m sure that somewhere in that report is a stern warning that Baylor needs to heed to the letter in the future: Do not, under any circumstances, even think of covering up a report of sexual assault.

Ken Starr packs it in at Baylor


Ken Starr’s resignation as chancellor at Baylor University because of a sex scandal might be the biggest non-surprise since, oh, when he helped engineer the impeachment of President Clinton in a case¬†that also involved¬†a sex scandal.

Yes, the irony is rich.

Starr quit as chancellor after the Baylor regents kicked him out of his job as president of the university. The chancellor’s job is a ceremonial one, with no actual administrative duties. The regents’ decision was based on Starr’s role in the university covering up reports of sexual abuse on its campus involving members of the school’s top-tier football team.


Frankly, Starr ought to resign his other job at Baylor, as a law professor. His presence on the campus taints the school.

Former head football coach Art Briles was fired because of this scandal. Athletic Director Ian McCaw resigned after regents put him on probation because of the same scandal.

Regents kicked Starr out of his presidency because, as the “captain of the good ship Baylor,” he was ultimately responsible for all that occurs on the campus.

Starr professed “ignorance” regarding the many rape charges that have been filed against students at Baylor. Is that a sufficient defense? Of course not.

So, now he’s gone as chancellor, saying in an interview with ESPN, “We need to put this horrible experience behind us.¬†We need to be honest.”

OK, professor, if honesty is what you want, how about just walking away from the campus altogether?

Doing so would enable himself a chance at a new start. Better still, it would give Baylor University a chance at renewal as well.


Another head rolls at Baylor


Another head has been lopped off — proverbially, of course — at Baylor University.

This time it belongs to the athletic director, Ian McCaw, who quit in the wake of the sex scandal that already has cost the school its president and its head football coach.

McCaw clearly had to go. He had been put on probation¬†just as¬†Baylor president Ken Starr¬†was getting¬†demoted and head coach Art Briles¬†was put on “suspension” prior to being fired.

Why the shakeup? Oh, just that scandal involving Baylor’s mishandling of the sexual assault charges — and conviction — of football stars. The scandal has roiled the Waco campus and has caused — one should hope — a tremendous re-examination of the way the school handles such cases. In the cases involved in this scandal, the school seemingly sought to sweep them away, hoping no one would notice.

Baylor’s regents issued the usual statement of regret in announcing McCaw’s resignation: “We understand and accept this difficult decision by Ian McCaw to resign as Athletic Director and are grateful for his service to Baylor University. We also appreciate Ian‚Äôs commitment and involvement in bringing a person of integrity such as Jim Grobe to the University before making this decision.‚ÄĚ Grobe has been named interim head football coach.

Whatever, the regents are seeking to cushion McCaw’s fall.

I don’t wish ill on the former AD, but this fellow ran an athletic department that includes the conduct of its premier revenue-producing sports activity.

As the saying goes, “The fish rots from the head down.”

Baylor University needs to take care of its business.

‘Fired’ or ‘suspended’ at Baylor?


I’m still scratching my noggin over this one.

Baylor University head football coach Art Briles has been “suspended” by the university’s board of regents, which eventually will get around to firing him.

Why wait? What’s the holdup?

Briles allegedly looked the other way while players on his team were sexually assaulting women. He did far too little to stop what was happening on the campus.


He’s going to be a “former coach” in due course, I reckon.

I always considered a firing for cause to have an immediate impact. If an employee does something wrong — or fails to do something right — then the employer has the right, if not¬†an obligation, to get rid of the offending employee post haste.

What am I missing here?