Above it all — above the playbook, the high school connections or the eye for coaching and football talent — what pushed Art Briles to turn Baylor from historic doormat to record-breaking powerhouse was the man’s defiant pride. In fact, it was that personality trait that breathed life into all his other facets as a head coach.
And now it’s set to become Baylor’s worst enemy.
According to a report from the Associated Press, Briles has no intention of settling a lawsuit brought against himself and his former employer by a victim of the sexual assault scandal that detonated the Bears’ football program and rocked college sports as a whole. In fact, Briles’ attorneys are demanding Baylor turn over its documents on the sexual assault scandal while accusing the school of wrongful termination.
The argument Briles’ attorneys will make is that any mistakes its head coach made laid ultimately at the feet of the university — particularly for not employing a Title IX coordinator until 2014, a key point that reportedly led the BU Board of Regents to remove Ken Starr as president.
Baylor’s former head coach will not go away quietly — not with $40 million still owed to him, short of a for-cause firing and victory in the subsequent lawsuit both sides surely have no interest in actually pursing. But if that comes as a surprise to Baylor, then it clearly was not paying attention over the last eight years.