While Grambling has yet to make a formal announcement it has hired Art Briles as an offensive assistant, the former Baylor head coach took the opportunity to make himself available for an interview with a Louisiana TV station.
In an interview with KTAL-TV, Briles indicated that reporting policies and procedures were not available at the time prior to being fired at Baylor amid sexual assault allegations within the football program.
“You report what you know. We did the best we felt at the time. Apparently, it wasn’t good enough — it wasn’t good enough,” Briles said. “I’m sorry for anybody that suffered any consequences because of it.”
Briles said he’ll do “exactly what I’m required to do and what they expect of me, which is to be a very solid citizen, to be a positive leader on a day-in and day-out basis, to do everything I can do to protect our students and our student-athletes on campus” if the situation warrants.
In 2021, an NCAA panel cleared Briles of committing any rules violations, but also made it clear that it found Briles’ conduct at Baylor unethical.
In its report, the panel outlined that Briles “failed to meet even the most basic expectations of how a person should react to the kind of conduct at issue in this case. Furthermore, as a campus leader, the head coach is held to an even higher standard. He completely failed to meet this standard.”
Briles said he anticipates some backlash for being back in college football, but hopes to prove at Grambling he’s a much different person and coach now than the one who was exiled from the sport.
And many on social media have already expressed concern over Grambling hiring Briles.
I hope someone who is more capable than me will discuss the layered issues of not just Briles being hired, but his presence at an HBCU. Black survivors are historically ignored and face increased or impossible barriers to reporting, care and support. https://t.co/n5gd9Nvvfi
— Brenda Tracy (@brendatracy24) February 24, 2022
This is wildly disappointing. Art Briles should not be working on a college campus. https://t.co/BWk5ABjv0v
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) February 24, 2022
“The only way you can gain trust is how you perform on a daily basis, how you interact with people on a daily basis. And then you have the opportunity to gain some trust,” Briles said in his TV interview. “There’s not a magic wand you can say it and then all of a sudden somebody is going to trust you. You have to earn that trust and that’s certainly what I’ll do.”