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Grambling Adds Art Briles to Coaching Staff

Editor’s note: This story contains accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at https://www.rainn.org.

A Grambling State spokesperson has told Sports Illustrated’s Richard Johnson that the football program has added former Baylor coach Art Briles to its coaching staff. A spokesperson told The Athletic he was hired as offensive coordinator. 

Briles was fired from Baylor in 2016 after a massive scandal in which he and Baylor administrators ignored dozens of sexual assault allegations. He has not coached in college football since.

There were at least 52 acts of rape committed by 31 different players between 2011 and ’14, including five gang rapes, according to a 2017 lawsuit filed by a former student. Briles was said to have ignored the accounts and covered up the assaults. 

In the wake of the scandal, a law firm hired by Baylor to examine its handling of sexual violence found that the football program and athletic department had failed to “identify and respond to a pattern of sexual violence by a football player.”

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“In certain instances, including reports of a sexual assault by multiple football players, athletics and football personnel affirmatively chose not to report sexual violence and dating violence to an appropriate administrator outside of athletics,” the findings of fact released by the university said. “In those instances, football coaches or staff met directly with a complainant and/or parent of a complainant and did not report the misconduct.”

Not only was Briles fired, but Baylor president Ken Starr and athletic director Ian McCaw exited as well. Two Baylor players, Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu, were found guilty of sexual assault. Elliott was sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, while Ukwuachu was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation. 

Since then, Briles has had stints in the CFL, Italian Football League and has coached high school football. SI reached out Thursday to school president Rick Gallot asking, “How does Grambling plan to ensure that women students will be safe on a campus with football players that Art Briles will recruit?” and is awaiting a response. 

In November, the NCAA released its findings of the investigation and could not determine that Baylor violated NCAA rules in its handlings of sexual and interpersonal violence. 

Briles will appear on NBC 6 Sports on Thursday to address his hiring. 

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