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Art Briles, Baylor assistants worked to keep player misconduct quiet

Former Baylor coach Art Briles and his staff worked to keep player misconduct quiet and handled discipline, new information shows.

Former Baylor coach Art Briles and his staff worked to keep player misconduct quiet and handled discipline internally, new info released by the school in a legal filing Thursday shows.

The filing came in response to a libel lawsuit by former director of operations Colin Shillinglaw, filed against the school. The university called Briles’s team culture a disciplinary “black hole,” where “reports of misconduct such as drug use, physical assault, domestic violence, brandishing of guns, indecent exposure and academic fraud disappeared,” according to ESPN.

The filing details one case where the former girlfriend of ex-Baylor defensive lineman Shawn Oakman reported that he physically abused her. Shillinglaw and members of the coaching staff, according to the lawsuit, refrained from sharing that information with anyone at Baylor outside the athletic department, and that Shillinglaw denied any knowledge of it during Baylor’s external investigation into the matter.

Last week, a woman filed a Title IX lawsuit against Baylor alleging 52 separate sexual assault incidents by 31 players from 2011–2014.

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Shillinglaw and former assistant athletic director Tom Hill were fired in May following the school’s private investigation of how multiple sexual assault complaints were handled.  Briles was fired later, along with president and chancellor Ken Star. Athletic director Ian McCaw later resigned.

On Wednesday, Briles dropped his own defamation suit against three regents and Baylor vice president Reagan Ramsower. Briles has repeatedly denied knowledge or involvement in the widespread sexual assaults that took place by players. Text messages in the filing show his involvement in various disciplinary correspondences covering up off-field criminal behavior.