Art Briles Drops Libel Lawsuit Against Baylor

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2017

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 27:  Head coach Art Briles of the Baylor Bears during the second half against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium on November 27, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Former Baylor Bears head coach Art Briles dropped a libel lawsuit against his former employer Wednesday after he alleged members of the school's board of regents made claims that damaged his reputation.

According to KWTX's Julie Hays and Mikel Lauber, Briles initially filed the suit in December and said "false information and defamatory statements" threatened to prevent him from getting hired again in a head coaching capacity.

Briles filed the lawsuit after members of Baylor's board of regents told the Wall Street Journal's Brad Reagan he did not report an alleged sexual assault by members of the football team.

According to Reagan, the regents disclosed that Briles "knew about an alleged incident and didn't alert police, the school's judicial-affairs staff or the Title IX office in charge of coordinating the school's response to sexual violence."

"There was a cultural issue there that was putting winning football games above everything else, including our values," regents member J. Cary Gray, who was named in the lawsuit, told Reagan. Gray added that "we did not have a caring community when it came to these women who reported that they were assaulted. And that is not OK."

Baylor moved to fire Briles in May, when law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP disclosed the findings of an investigation that did not paint the former head coach in a positive light.

According to the school's statement, there were "specific failings within both the football program and athletics department leadership, including a failure to identify and respond to a pattern of sexual violence by a football player and to a report of dating violence."

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Last Friday, the Dallas Morning News' Sarah Mervosh reported a Baylor graduate filed a lawsuit against the school that alleged "31 Baylor football players committed at least 52 acts of rape, including five gang rapes, between 2011 and 2014."

When Reagan's piece ran in October, regents disclosed that 17 women had reported sexual assaults, including four gang rapes, involving 19 members of the football team dating back to 2011.

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