As Baylor Faces More Lawsuits, Former Coaches Land on Their Feet Elsewhere

As Baylor Faces More Lawsuits, Former Coaches Land on Their Feet Elsewhere
There has been another Title IX lawsuit bought against Baylor University by a former female student claiming to have been sexually assaulted by members of the school's football team. This suit was bought by a former Baylor volleyball player further claiming that gang rapes were considered part of the football program bonding experience.

We do not need to rehash all that supposedly happened in Waco with the football team. Just remember that the number of claimed sexual assaults committed by members of the team is 52. Just remember that, when told about one of the assaults, then-head coach Art Briles did a nice bit of victim blaming, saying, “These are some bad dudes. Why was she around those guys?”

And remember this: Art Briles is not coaching a football team this season. That’s for the best. He has proven that he is not a person who should be in charge of young men, and he definitely should not be in a job where those young men interact with young women. But while Art Briles is not coaching, many members of his Baylor staff are still working in college football.

Kendal Briles, the son of Art Briles, is now the offensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic University. One of the lawsuits alleges he used to ask recruits if they liked white women, then noting that Baylor had a lot of them and that “they love football players.” Baylor’s former defensive coordiator, Phil Bennett, now holds that same job at Arizona State. Art Briles’s son-in-law, Jeff Lebby, and Randy Clements, another Briles assistant, are now assistant coaches with Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. And Chris Achuff and Jim Gush were hired as assistant coaches at Navarro College. And brand-new UT head coach Tom Herman faced some backlash when he hired Casey Horny, one of Briles’s assistants, for his new staff.

Don’t forget about former Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw. He landed on his feet, grabbing the same job at Liberty University. Liberty, like Baylor, is supposed to be one of those Christians universities that shield students from the evils of secular schools. For instance, Liberty forbids sexual relationships outside of marriage while noting it condones only a biblically ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born women.

It seems kind of strange that Liberty would bring in a guy to lead its athletic programs who is accused of covering up a string of sexual assaults. It also seems strange the school would hire a guy who seemed to go along with Baylor’s female hostess program known as the Baylor Bruins. According to one of the Title IX lawsuits, the Bruins were encouraged to have sex with Baylor recruits, and several of the women were impregnated by players. And those just kind of seem to be acts that violate the Liberty honor code.

This hostess program, if anything, is what will get Baylor in trouble with the NCAA since there are rules about how such programs can operate. The NCAA could also come down on the school at some point for failing to promote a program of compliance with rules and for lacking any meaningful oversight. But it could be a long time until the NCAA acts, if the governing body ever does. So until then, about the only thing that can be done to Baylor or any of the coaches and administrators and players (besides jail time for the offenders) is to continue to shine a bright light on those who allowed these assaults at Baylor to take place.

Art Briles is not working this year. Some of his former players are facing jail time. But as long as the likes of Ian McCaw and members of the Briles family continue to get jobs, it’s obvious that no lessons have been learned and that the status quo still controls when it comes to college football.
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John Royal is a native Houstonian who graduated from the University of Houston and South Texas College of Law. In his day job he is a complex litigation attorney. In his night job he writes about Houston sports for the Houston Press.
Contact: John Royal