Briles: I did not cover up sexual violence
- Author: Julie Sanders Mar 03, 2017,
Mar 03, 2017, 3:21
The Texas Rangers have begun an investigation into Baylor's handling of sexual assault allegations by students, State Rep. Roland Gutierrez told ESPN on Wednesday.
Saying Thursday that he could "remain silent no longer", although "bound by certain confidentiality requirements", Briles decried the "onslaught of information coming out in the press that is inaccurate, misleading and unfair to Baylor" and people associated with the school. I did not obstruct justice on campus or off.
The Baylor scandal resulted in the firing of Head Football Coach Art Briles, the demotion of President Ken Starr and the probation of Athletic Director Ian McCaw.
The statewide investigative agency launched the investigation Tuesday and is looking into allegations that the university mishandled sexual assault cases.
"Baylor University pledges to extend our full cooperation with the Texas Rangers surrounding the issue of sexual assaults that occurred within our campus community several years ago, as we have done with other external inquiries that are now underway", the school said in a statement.
Baylor officials say that investigation found at least 17 women who reported being sexually assaulted by 19 football players, but one lawsuit claiming Baylor fostered a "culture of sexual violence" puts the number at more than 50 acts of rape over a four-year period.
Briles was sacked by Baylor after eight seasons on May 26, 2016 at the suggestion of university regents who held him responsible for a lack of accountability for athlete misconduct, including sexual assault allegations. The document containing the alleged text messages, which they said had emerged from Pepper Hamilton's investigation, was a response to that and a separate libel suit brought by another fired football staffer (Briles dropped his lawsuit in February).
"The information that was referred to in the Pepper Hamilton report - the laundry list of what they did - right now we're in discussions with the general counsel's office about voluntary disclosure to the Texas Rangers", Reyna said.
On April 8, 2011, after a freshman defensive tackle was cited for illegal consumption of alcohol, Coach Briles sent a text message to an assistant coach: "Hopefully he's under radar enough they won't recognize name - did he get ticket from Baylor police or Waco?"
"Rumor, innuendo, and out of context messages, emails and comments have no place in a true fact-finding mission", Briles said Thursday. "The key to growth for the school begins with full transparence, not selective messaging". To take no responsibility for the allegations going in his program and then flipping it around and blaming the media is only making things worse for him and the Baylor program.
A request for comment from the governor's office wasn't immediately returned Wednesday. He says his former client, who hasn't hired a public relations firm, wrote it from the heart.
"Art Briles does not have an idea what they're talking about", Cannon said.
"He wanted to communicate to Baylor fans and the university what they meant to him and how much he misses them".