Art Briles was briefly back in football yesterday, being hired as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ assistant head coach for offense before he was let go just hours later. Those hours Briles was a member of the Tiger-Cats organization generated more negative publicity for the club than their ongoing 0-8 season, and on Tuesday owner Bob Young issued a statement of apology.

“We made a large and serious mistake,” Young said. “We want to apologize to our fans, corporate partners and the Canadian Football League. It has been a difficult season and we are searching for answers. We have listened, we are reviewing our decision-making process and we will learn. We will go on. We want to thank our fans, partners and the CFL for their support.”

Young’s statement again, shorter.

Meanwhile, here’s what CEO Scott Mitchell had to say to CFL site 3 Down Nation about the hiring yesterday.

Drew Edwards: Were you aware of the issues surrounding Art Briles’ tenure at Baylor before you hired him?

Scott Mitchell: We were very well aware of it and it’s been a long deliberation internally, collecting information, talking to as many people as possible, quite frankly getting the facts about things straightened away. The history is that June Jones and Art Briles have known each other for decades and June was very forthright about what the situation was and the more we contemplated it, deliberated over it – and obviously I spoke to Bob Young about it as well –we just thought it was a very serious situation but we also felt that after talking to dozens of people, people we trust, people we admire, that Art Briles a is a good man that was caught in a very bad situation. Clearly, some serious mistakes were made along the way but we feel strongly that people deserve second chances and that’s what we’ve decided to do with Art Briles.

DE: Was the league aware of the hiring of Art Briles before you announced it?

SM: They were. I spoke to the league about it as a potential concept and had a good discussion about it, a good deliberation about it. At the end of the day, it comes down to whether a person deserves a second chance. In no way, shape or form can you diminish the clearly institutional, horrific issues that went on at Baylor. But Art was exonerated by his own university, he certainly had nothing to do with no criminal discussions or proceedings. That doesn’t excuse what went on there by any stretch or the horrific experiences that some young women went through. But as an organization we have to decide whether we’re going to give people a second chance and judge them for their own character, morality, and ethics. I can tell you there wasn’t one single person that we spoke to who knows Art Briles that didn’t think he deserved an opportunity to work in football.

And here he was today: “I think at the end of the day when the public is that clear about their opposition to something, you acknowledge that you’ve misread a situation, you’ve got to clarify that, you’ve got to admit the mistake, and you’ve got to be public about that with your fans and your supporters and the media, and then you’ve got to move forward.”

Monday’s saga should be instructive for college presidents. If Briles is radioactive enough to get Canadians — the politest people on the face of the planet — riled up enough to force a removal within hours, what would the reaction be like if he was hired by an American university?

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.