Publish Date: 08/30/2017
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
On Monday morning, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League announced that it had hired disgraced former Baylor head football coach Art Briles as the CFL team’s “Assistant Head Coach Offence.” The reaction to the hiring of the coach who oversaw a BU football program rocked by a widespread sexual assault scandal was immediate and swift, with even one of the team’s sponsors publicly and very emphatically denouncing the move.
Why were people so upset at the hiring of Art Briles? Let’s look at his time at Baylor University and what got him fired at that school.
Nov. 28, 2007
Art Briles was named new Baylor football coach.
Tevin Elliott came to Baylor from Mount Pleasant. The former Baylor football player was sentenced to the maximum 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine in January 2014 for sexually assaulting a former Baylor student in 2012.
Feb. 15, 2010
Ken Starr was formally named Baylor’s 14th president.
June 1, 2010
Ken Starr took the reins as Baylor’s president, taking over for interim president David Garland.
June 7, 2010
Ken Starr penned a letter in the Tribune-Herald about possible realignment of the Big 12 Conference and, with it, the separation of Baylor from its fellow Texas universities in the Big 12.
May 9, 2011
Robert “Rob” David Cole, a Baylor student, was charged in the sexual assault of a fellow student. Police said Cole assaulted a woman while the two were attending a party in a South Waco apartment in January 2011.
Elliott, the former Baylor defensive end from Mount Pleasant, sexually assaulted former Baylor student Jasmin Hernandez at a party at a Waco apartment complex in 2012. He later was sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $10,000 in 2014 after his conviction on two counts of sexually assault.
Shawn Oakman, a 6-foot-9, 265-pound defensive lineman, transferred from Penn State to Baylor.
Jan. 10, 2013
According to the incident report posted on Twitter by Alex Dunlap of RosterWatch.com, and confirmed by Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton to media to be authentic, former Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman physically assaulted a woman.
April 18, 2013
Former players Tre’Von Armstead and Myke Chatman were named by Waco police in an incident report involving sexual assault, but they were never charged. Armstead was removed from the football program in September 2015, and the university expelled him in February. Chatman transferred to Sam Houston State University.
May 7, 2013
Boise State announced that Sam Ukwuachu was dismissed from the team for an unspecified violation of team policy.
Ukwuachu transferred to Baylor after playing at Boise State for two seasons.
Baylor President Ken Starr and his wife, Alice, lobbied for a Virginia school administrator who admitted to molesting five children under the age of 14 to be sentenced to community service rather than jail time. Instead, a judge sentenced the man to 43 years in prison for the abuse.
Baylor football player Sam Ukwuachu — who was convicted on Aug. 20, 2015 — sexually assaulted a now-former soccer player at the university.
Jan. 23, 2014
Former Baylor football player Tevin Elliott was sentenced to the maximum 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each of two counts of sexually assaulting a former Baylor student in 2012.
Sam Ukwuachu was indicted.
Patty Crawford became Baylor’s first full-time Title IX coordinator.
Aug. 20, 2015
Sam Ukwuachu, a former freshman All-American at Boise State University before transferring to play football at Baylor, was convicted of sexually assaulting a former Baylor soccer player in 2013.
Aug. 21, 2015
Baylor President Ken Starr issued a statement on “our stance against sexual violence” and tapped Baylor law professor Jeremy Counseller to conduct an internal inquiry into how Baylor handled the allegations against Ukwuachu.
Aug. 28, 2015
Baylor law professor Jeremy Counseller completed an internal inquiry into how Baylor handled the allegations.
Aug. 29, 2015
Waco police responded to a South Waco home, where a former Baylor men’s tennis player was named as the lone suspect in a sexual assault case. The player, who was a member of the tennis team when the alleged incident was reported to police, did not compete in fall 2015 or spring matches in 2016.
Sept. 2, 2015
Baylor hired Pepper Hamilton LLP attorneys Gina Smith and Leslie Gomez to conduct an independent external investigation into how the university handles cases of alleged sexual violence.
Sept. 4, 2015
Shawn Oakman and Orion Stewart, two of the top defensive players on Baylor’s reigning Big 12 Conference championship team, missed the team’s opener against SMU because of violations of team rules.
Sept. 18, 2015
Former Baylor player Tre’Von Armstead was dismissed from the team for an “unspecified team rules violation.” He played in the 2015 season opener against SMU on Sept. 4 and was held out of the second game against Lamar on Sept. 12 for an unspecified reason.
Sept. 30, 2015
A no-contact order is issued by the university’s Title IX office for Baylor offensive lineman Rami Hammad after he is accused of sexually assaulting a student in his apartment earlier in the month. The alleged victim said she didn’t report the incident to the police, according to ESPN. When an acquaintance told her that she had had a similar encounter with Hammad, the two both reported him to Baylor’s Title IX office and later filed for no-contact orders.
Oct. 2, 2015
The woman who reported a sexual assault by Rami Hammad was approached by him. He allegedly said “You know it was consensual,” and yelled at her as she got up to leave. According to ESPN, she called Baylor police, who interviewed witnesses to the confrontation. She declined to press charges, saying “I just thought Title IX would take care of it.”
Late October 2015
Rami Hammad’s judicial affairs trial occurs. When the victim asks later about the trial, a person in the Title IX office said, “We can’t disclose what happened at the trial to you,” according to ESPN. Hammad continued to start for the football team during the semester, playing 13 games for the Baylor football team that fall.
Nov. 12, 2015
After Rami Hammad’s judicial affairs hearing, the woman who reported a sexual assault received an email from Baylor Chief Judicial Officer Bethany McCraw, according to ESPN. The email told the woman how she should avoid Hammad by exiting an academic building from a different door. It further instructed her that she should obtain pre-clearance from McCraw for non-class movements on campus.
“I never got a result from the trial, and now I’m being told how to exit the building as if I’m the one who’s being charged?” she told ESPN. “I felt like I was being punished and treated like a criminal.”
Dec. 31, 2015
The victim in the sexual assault trial of former Baylor football player Sam Ukwuachu is reported to have reached a settlement agreement with the school.
Former All-Big 12 tight end Tre’Von Armstead was expelled from Baylor, and his appeal of his expulsion was denied.
Feb. 4, 2016
Stefanie Mundhenk, a 2015 Baylor graduate, posted a lengthy account online alleging that she was raped twice in one night by another student in March 2015. She said university officials, including Ken Starr himself, failed to act against the accused student and allowed him to work in an office housing her academic program.
“Their actions don’t match up to what they said they could provide me with as a victim,” Mundhenk told the Tribune-Herald. Pointing to a lack of urgency from an understaffed team handling the case, she said that “the entity that was supposed to care didn’t, and when that happens you start to believe your story doesn’t matter. I believed it mattered to me because it changed my life.”
Feb. 8, 2016
More than 200 Baylor students, faculty, staff and alumni stood outside the home of President Ken Starr to express their frustration with how the university has handled sexual assault allegations in recent years.
Feb. 9, 2016
The Tribune-Herald requested reports received by the Baylor University Police Department of sexual assaults and other improper sexual conduct during the past 20 years. Per request, the Tribune-Herald agreed to narrow the request by five years, seeking sexual assault reports from Baylor police for the past 15 years.
Feb. 11, 2016
Another Baylor student, junior Cailin Ballard, came forward to share the story of her disappointment with the school’s handling of her sexual assault report, saying she felt blamed by the university’s police department when she reported the October 2013 sexual assault.
Feb. 23, 2016
About 60 people attended a prayer service in support of sexual assault survivors at Baylor’s Elliston Chapel. President Ken Starr made a brief appearance beforehand.
March 2, 2016
A former president of Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Baylor, Jacob Anderson, was arrested on a sexual assault charge for allegedly forcing himself on a woman outside of a fraternity party at a house in the 2600 block of South Third Street on Feb. 21, 2016.
March 9, 2016
In the wake of a Baylor fraternity president being charged with sexual assault, the university Greek Life staff sent an email to elected leaders of Greek organizations instructing them not to speak with the media about the situation.
March 29, 2016
The fourth in a four-part prayer service for sexual assault survivors was held at Baylor’s Elliston Chapel.
March 30, 2016
Jasmin Hernandez filed a Title IX lawsuit against Baylor, head football coach Art Briles and Athletics Director Ian McCaw seeking unspecified damages. The former Baylor student twice was sexually assaulted by former Baylor football player Tevin Elliott and alleges school officials knew of previous allegations against Elliott and failed to take proper action to protect other students.
April 13, 2016
Waco police arrested former Baylor football player Shawn Oakman on charges he sexually assaulted a fellow student after leaving a Waco nightclub with her early April 3.
May 11, 2016
Former president of Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Baylor University, Jacob Walter Anderson, was indicted on four counts of sexual assault in an alleged incident in February at a fraternity party.
May 13, 2016
Baylor regents received a “comprehensive briefing from Pepper Hamilton LLP,” the school said in a press release after the meeting. The briefing covered the Philadelphia-based law firm’s findings regarding Baylor’s response to reports of sexual and interpersonal violence. But Baylor officials declined to publicly release the long-awaited report.
During the meeting, Baylor officials barred two Tribune-Herald reporters from the building where the regents met — the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative, which received public funds for its renovation in recent years, including funds from McLennan County and the cities of Waco and Bellmead.
May 19, 2016
Texas Attorney General ruled Baylor can withhold certain aspects of police reports that involve alleged student privacy issues but must release some information because a new law makes law enforcement records from private universities’ police departments subject to public information laws.
May 24, 2016
An Austin blogger, citing anonymous sources, reported President Ken Starr was fired. Outgoing Baylor board of regents Chairman Richard Willis told the Tribune-Herald that Starr was still president.
According to Baylor regents’ interviews with the Wall Street Journal, Art Briles met with regents and was asked what he would have done differently, and he began to weep. “He couldn’t speak he was so upset, and all of us were,” said regent J. Cary Gray. “Art said, ‘I delegated down, and I know I shouldn’t have. And I had a system where I was the last to know, and I should have been the first to know.’”
May 25, 2016
Ken Starr told the Tribune-Herald that he remained president and chancellor, despite rumors and reports questioning his status. Amid the calls for Starr’s ouster, more than 1,500 people signed an online petition urging Baylor’s board of regents to keep him.
May 26, 2016
Baylor announces sweeping changes in its administration and athletics department, removing Ken Starr from the presidency and firing head football coach Art Briles. Details released from the explosive Pepper Hamilton report on Baylor University’s handling of sexual assault cases says that “Institutional failures at every level of Baylor’s administration impacted the response to individual cases and the Baylor community.”
May 30, 2016
Baylor Athletics Director Ian McCaw resigns, effective immediately. Hours before, Baylor hires Jim Grobe as its interim head football coach.
June 1, 2016
Ken Starr resigns as chancellor, says he will remain as a professor at Baylor Law School. He says he wants the “full body” of Pepper Hamilton information released and hopes the public will get a clearer picture of how the university has handled sexual assault allegations.
June 2, 2016
The Baylor Line Foundation, other alumni and some sexual assault survivors call for the release of the full findings from Pepper Hamilton.
In his first public statement, Art Briles says he is “contractually obligated to remain silent” on what he knew about the program’s handling of sexual assault allegations. He acknowledges that he had made mistakes and “would have done certain things differently.”
Meanwhile, Baylor University releases three heavily redacted reports in response to a Tribune-Herald request for 15 years of records and Sam Ukwuachu files an appeal of his sexual assault conviction.
June 3, 2016
Women who say they were raped while attending Baylor University hold a silent demonstration at the Bill Daniel Student Center on Baylor’s campus. “So far, this has been the only chance for victims’ voices to be heard in a safe environment,” says a 2007 Baylor graduate who helped organize the event.
June 6, 2016
Interim president David Garland says in an interview the university is fully focused on implementing the 105 recommendations presented by Pepper Hamilton, saying “I consider them to be mandates that we are going to fix this so this will not happen again. Baylor should be a place that is safe for all students.”
Furthermore, he says the previously released “Findings of Fact” and “Recommendations” are the only materials that will and can be released, noting the board of regents and then-President Ken Starr heard briefings from Pepper in the form of survivor stories.
“There is no secret report out there. This is the report, and making it public was incredibly courageous on [the regents’] part,” Garland said. “Frankly, that Pepper Hamilton report, you know, if you took all the case notes and redacted out names, you basically have what we have in the Pepper Hamilton report.”
June 7, 2016
Baylor graduate Dolores Lozano told ESPN reporter Joe Schad she plans to file a Title IX lawsuit against Baylor University, claim assistant football coach Jeff Lebby and former head coach Art Briles did not sufficiently respond to reports made directly to Lebby of violence by a player.
June 8, 2016
Jeremy Faulk and B.J. Autry are reported to have left the football team. Autry voluntarily withdrew while Faulk was released. Baylor officials give no reasons why they are no longer enrolled. An ESPN report said Faulk was questioned about an alleged sexual assault that may have occurred in April on the Baylor campus when he was on the football team.
June 10, 2016
Baylor announces two task forces and 12 implementation teams composed of faculty, staff and administrators to implement the 105 Pepper Hamilton recommendations. Experts say heightened awareness of sexual violence could lead to more reports of the crime at the campus, which is in a transitional phase.
June 11, 2016
Local attorneys tell the Tribune-Herald that they fear Baylor may overreact to accusations, placing accused students’ due process rights in jeopardy. At the same time, they acknowledge the difficult task of balancing victims’ well-being and interests with the rights of the accused.
June 13, 2016
Baylor regents meet to discuss Art Briles’s status, but did not take any action. A small group of boosters was reportedly pushing for Briles’s return.
June 15, 2016
Three women file a Title IX lawsuitagainst Baylor claiming the school did not properly investigate and respond to sexual assaults. It is the second lawsuit filed. As of this date, Baylor was not under Title IX investigation by the U.S. Department of Education.
June 16, 2016
Art Briles files a motion accusing Baylor lawyers of a conflict of interest and alleging wrongful termination, saying that his firing was a “camouflage” by Baylor to “distract from its own institutional failure to comply” with federal laws regarding sexual assault.
June 17, 2016
Art Briles settles contractual matters with Baylor and withdraws his motion of the previous day. Baylor did not confirm the settlement, but Waco insurance magnate and longtime Baylor regent Clifton Robinson did, saying “the Briles era is over.” Meanwhile, fired athletics staffer Tom Hill says on Facebook that he was “wrongfully fired” and that “Baylor has wrongfully thrown the innocent out in my situation.”
June 20, 2016
A third lawsuit is filed against Baylor, brought by a former student, alleging that the school created a “hunting ground for sexual predators.” Also, attorneys for Jasmin Hernandez tell the media that Art Briles did not attend a mediation session the previous week. “She has been betrayed so many times by him and by Baylor as an institution. This is just another in a long line of betrayal events for her,” one attorney said.
June 22, 2016
The Big 12 Conference calls for Baylor to release documentation of Pepper Hamilton’s investigation. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby says in a statement: “The Big 12 board of directors is gravely and deeply concerned by media reports about activities involving the athletics program at Baylor University.” A spokesman says that if Baylor does not comply with the Big 12’s request, the board would consider taking action against the school.
June 23, 2016
Baylor grants releases to five incoming freshmen on the football team. Assuming they don’t return, Baylor will have lost 10 of the 22 players in its 2016 signing class.
June 24, 2016
The university releases a statementsaying “Baylor University and Art Briles have mutually agreed to terminate their employment relationship, effective immediately.”
June 28, 2016
Three more women join a lawsuit filed June 15 alleging “deliberate indifference” to investigating sexual assaults and alleging they were deprived of their rights.
June 30, 2016
Interim President David Garland sent a letter to the “Baylor Family” reiterating his view of the recommendations as mandates for the university moving forward. He said the school’s counseling staff will double, and that Baylor police will work with the Title IX office to develop consistent protocols. The office will also hire a deputy Title IX coordinator and the head coordinator was developing plan for continuous trauma-informed training, he said. COO Reagan Ramsower says the new task forces are making steady progress, noting a national search for a chief compliance officer is also underway.
The Baylor Board of Regents remains silent about its role in the school’s failure to address sexual assaults, specifically in implementing changes to the board’s governance role and structure that were recommended.
July 6, 2016
Art Briles files a motion to be removed from the federal Title IX lawsuit filed in March, claiming that the plaintiffs had not laid out actionable complaints against Briles, claiming a two-year statute of limitations on the claims and arguing that Briles, as Tevin Elliott’s coach, was not liable for negligence in the case.
July 7, 2016
Baylor offensive lineman Rami Hammad is questioned by university police after a Baylor professor called 911 to report that Hammad had waited for his ex-girlfriend before the professor’s class that day, then continued to attempt to contact her. The woman told police she did not wish to pursue charges, according to the university’s campus crime log. The Baylor University Title IX Office also was notified of the incident.
Baylor announces a 21-member Spiritual Life and Character Formation Task Force, led by Executive Vice President and Provost L. Gregory Jones, to re-focus the university around its Christian mission.
July 9, 2016
A male Baylor student speaks to the Tribune-Herald saying he is a casualty of what he calls Baylor’s overreaching backlash to negative publicity about its failures in responding to and investigating sexual assaults. The student was suspended for 18 months for “nonconsensual sexual contact” with another intoxicated student at a party in March of 2015. The other student did not lodge a complaint against him; the Baylor Title IX did so after he testified as a witness in another case.
Week of July 18, 2016
A former Baylor student and her attorneys file an amendment to the March federal Title IX lawsuit, adding a reference to a 2011 gang rape of another woman by football players. The lawsuit states Baylor had knowledge of the gang rape but “failed to respond promptly and equitably.”
July 21, 2016
Baylor regents chairman Ron Murff makes his first substantive comments to the Tribune-Herald about the school’s sexual assault scandal. “There were some things that the administration was not doing,” he said. “We did not implement Title IX properly. We did not have it properly funded.” Murff and interim president David Garland maintained that the university was prohibited by law from releasing a more comprehensive report based on the findings of the Pepper Hamilton law firm. > Read the full interview
July 25, 2016
University officials update the Baylor board of regents on ongoing efforts to bolster its response to sexual violence. Adjustments to the Title IX policy and student-athlete drug testing policy have been made, the report said, and projects focused on Clery Act compliance and a culture and climate survey are underway. Baylor has continued to retain the law firm Pepper Hamilton to help review sexual assault cases between 2011 and 2015 and determine how to provide support, the report revealed. Baylor also purchased case management software to centralize complaints and grievance reports. The athletics department will use the software to report student-athlete misconduct to Crawford and the Student Conduct Administration Office, the report said. Garland also noted a national search for the new position of chief compliance officer was to soon begin.
July 27, 2016
Tom Hill, a former Baylor athletics staffer fired amid the scandal, files a petition seeking all documents and information found in the Pepper Hamilton external investigation, as well as the reasons he was fired. “I want my name cleared of being associated with this ordeal,” Hill said. “I want to know why they fired an innocent man. I want Baylor to be transparent.” Hill said he had no involvement with any Baylor football players accused of sexual assault since 2011.
July 28, 2016
A federal judge declines to sanctionplaintiffs’ attorneys in one of Baylor’s Title IX lawsuits, but reminded lawyers on both sides of the case about their responsibilities under the rules of professional conduct.
July 29, 2016
Jim Marsh of the Baylor University Counseling Center speaks to the Tribune-Herald, noting that the counseling staff will soon reach 20 employees with a 1:800 ratio of counselors to students. In recent years, it was 1: 1,660, and in 1999, it was 1: 4,500, he said. With a $900,000 expansion of the center, a newly formed Trauma Recovery Team will train counselors, Title IX staffers and Baylor police, he said. He said Baylor had eliminated both charges and limits on the number of counseling sessions it offers. (Students were previously offered 12 counseling sessions per academic year, with seven free and the last five costing $10.)
July 31, 2016
An Associated Press report draws attention to Pepper Hamilton’s conclusion that the school’s rigid approach to drugs, alcohol and sex and “perceived judgmental responses” to victims who reported being raped “created barriers” to reporting assaults. Some women faced the prospect of their family being notified. Students at Baylor can still be expelled for using drugs or alcohol, though late in 2015 it included amnesty for minor offenses.
Aug. 1, 2016
Baylor offensive lineman Rami Hammad is arrested on a felony stalking charge of his ex-girlfriend and suspended from the football team. A Baylor professor had previously called 911 on July 7, after which he continued to contact the ex-girlfriend, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. The woman told officers Hammad would not leave her alone, including incidents of physical violence between March and July 2016, and that she had taken “extensive measures” to keep Hammad from knowing her whereabouts, including driving a vehicle and subleasing a home Hammad didn’t know about. She told an officer that she feared for his mental health and the effects of her attempts to block contact with him, including ignoring phone calls and text messages and blocking his phone number. She told officers he had spoken about suicide.
Aug. 3, 2016
Baylor Title IX coordinator Patty Crawford speaks to the Tribune-Herald about building her office from scratch and facing challenges fostering cross-campus communication on Title IX. She said Baylor Title IX training sessions, now campus-wide, teach students about sexual consent, and she had no push-back from administrators in making the change.
ESPN reports that the McLennan County District Attorney’s office has informally asked for “full access” to the information gathered by Pepper Hamilton during their investigation of Baylor University. The office is seeking evidence of criminal conduct by student-athletes, coaches, faculty or staff in connection with sexual assaults at the university, according to the report.
2017: What was Hamilton thinking?
Who knows, from watching them in the off-season you could already be sure that the Tiger-Cats probably weren’t thinking; the hiring of Art Briles proves that no one in the front office has a clue. How could they not realize that this man would be meet with nothing but scorn?
While Art Briles is one of the greatest offensive minds in all of football, he has also proven to be one of football’s most morally corrupt men. Briles should never be allowed to coach football in any country ever again.
The CFL in the end had to step in to stop the hiring of Briles and they issued this statement on Monday evening. “Art Briles will no longer be joining the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a coach. We came to this decision this evening following a lengthy discussion between the league and the Hamilton organization. We wish Mr. Briles all the best in his future endeavours.”
Scott Mitchell has no clue
Given some of the comments Tiger-Cats CEO Scott Mitchell made about Briles today, it does not appear that he was enthusiastic about the decision to reverse the hire.
“It’s a terribly unfortunate background to it,” Mitchell told CFL site 3 Down Nation about the dozens of sexual assaults that occurred at Baylor under Briles. “But that doesn’t take away that people feel strongly that Art Briles is a good person who deserves the opportunity to be a coach.”
Scott Mitchell should be fired immediately for even considering Art Briles to be a coach with the Tiger-Cats, Briles deserves no second chances after his time in Baylor, and anybody that thinks he does doesn’t need a job in football.
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