Mount Vernon's Jason McCullough: Art Briles Vetted to 'Best of Our Ability'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2019

FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2007, file photo, Art Briles answers questions after being introduced as the new coach of the Baylor University football team during a press conference in Waco, Texas. Baylor University has explained for the first time how Briles, the school's former football coach and others responded to a woman's claims that she was gang-raped by five players. University officials told The Dallas Morning News on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, that the student-athlete informed her coach in April 2013 that she had been assaulted a year earlier and provided the names of the players.  The university contends the coach reported the matter to Briles, ex-athletic director Ian McCaw and a sports administrator.  (AP Photo/Duane A. Laverty, File
DUANE A. LAVERTY/Associated Press

Mount Vernon ISD Superintendent Jason McCullough insisted his Texas high school went through a proper vetting process before hiring former Baylor coach Art Briles even though no victims or NCAA officials were interviewed.

McCullough said those involved "vetted coach Briles to the best of our ability" when speaking to reporters:

Mike Leslie @MikeLeslieWFAA

Mount Vernon ISD Supt Jason McCullough says that they β€œvetted coach [Art] Briles to the best of our ability.” Did that vetting include talking with any of the victims? No. Any one from the NCAA? No, other than fmr Baylor coach Grant Teaff. Then what vetting did you do? https://t.co/QVeS9jhp6e

The Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com) noted Mount Vernon announced it hired Briles on Friday even though Baylor fired him following an external investigation into how the Big 12 school and football program handled sexual assault allegations against students and football players.

Briles had been coaching in Italy prior to this latest hiring.

In 2018, Dennis Dodd and Adam Silverstein of CBSSports.com reported 17 women accused 19 former Baylor players of sexual or domestic assault from 2011 to 2016, while Ryan Young of Yahoo Sports cited one lawsuit that said 31 players committed 52 acts of rape from 2011 to 2014.

Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram noted Briles was cited for "lack of institutional control" and the "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance."

Briles was the head coach at Baylor from 2008 through 2015.