Feel free to hate Briles and Baylor, but make sure to do your homework on the subject
As critical as we [media] are to your community and a democracy, we can be a lazy judgmental pack of self-important blowhards...Crushing Briles and the school that recently hired him, Mount Vernon ISD, is an easy populist choice; it requires minimal effort, and it will generate rave reviews and big ratings.
I say this only because, with the exception of maybe two other people, no one has taken the time to know this sad tale more than I have.I have read all of it. I have talked to coaches. I have spoken to victims. I have talked to Baylor administrators. I have spoken at length to high-ranking members of the Baylor Board of Regents who backed Briles, fought for him to stay, but supported the decision to fire him. I spoke to Baylor student-athletes who were there when this all happened. I spoke to coaches in the athletic department who were there.
This is an indictment on a narrative that refuses to acknowledge but one reliable trope. The narrative is out of control because we are just too lazy to accept additional details or to do any original reporting.
In consuming the outrage at Mount Vernon’s decision, I see a consistent theme: There are no datelines on any of these reports from Waco. There have not been for years. Few people have bothered to interview anyone, or taken the time to read beyond a few paragraphs, or explore some of the allegations.
Baylor’s general counsel, Christopher Holmes, wrote... “We are unaware of any situation where you [Briles] personally had contact with anyone who directly reported to you being the victim of sexual assault or that you directly discouraged the victim of an alleged sexual assault from reporting to law enforcement or University officials. Nor are we aware of any situation where you played a student-athlete who had been found responsible for sexual assault.”
That essentially contradicts what Baylor officials deliberately leaked to The Wall Street Journal the previous year that selectively painted the football program under Briles as the problem while ignoring the larger issue, which was the university’s practices as they related to sexual assault claims.