Art Briles Not Hired as Southern Miss OC; HC Jay Hopson Upset over Decision

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2019

WACO, TX - OCTOBER 17:  Head coach Art Briles of the Baylor Bears looks on as the Bears take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in the second half at McLane Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Southern Miss Golden Eagles won't hire former Baylor Bears head coach Art Briles as their offensive coordinator. 

"We have met with Art Briles regarding a position with the Southern Miss football program," Southern Miss said in a statement Wednesday, per ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg. "Following that meeting, we informed him that he is not a candidate. The university will have no further comment on this matter."

Golden Eagles head coach Jay Hopson issued a statement of his own in opposition to the school's decision. Hopson wrote Briles "is a man who deserves a second chance," per Stadium's Brett McMurphy:

In May 2016, the Baylor University of Board of Regents suspended Briles with the intention of firing him. 

The move came after a report by ESPN's Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach detailing institutional failures at the university to properly address allegations of sexual assault made against Baylor football players.

Reporting for Deadspin, Jessica Luther and Dan Solomon offered another thorough examination on Tuesday that was sharply critical of Baylor and the football program:

"But the whole time Baylor was winning games, building stadiums, and basking in on-field glory, its coaches were managing a series of incidents they were desperate to keep from dominating the news. Briles’ players were frequently in trouble, and internal communications from the coach to his staff show they worked hard to ensure that their players’ names didn’t end up in front of the university’s judicial affairs department or cross [Baylor Title IX coordinator] Patty Crawford’s desk."

Briles has yet to receive another college coaching job since his departure from Baylor. He spent eight years in Waco, compiling a 65-37 overall record and leading the Bears to six bowl games.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL were set to bring Briles aboard as an assistant head coach before backtracking on the decision and rescinding the offer. Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young said the team "made a large and serious mistake" by hiring Briles in the first place.

Briles' last stop was with Guelfi Firenze, an American football team in Italy. 

Rittenberg noted the 63-year-old is facing potential NCAA violations and is set to appear in front of the NCAA infractions committee in the spring.

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