Update >> This can be a bit tough to follow, so read the full situation below, and here’s a screenshot of the latest update from the Dallas Morning News piece.
After the scandal that took place under his watch at Baylor that led to his exile from college football, Art Briles was rumored to be close to joining a number of organizations before eventually landing as the head coach of an Italian football team, where he went 8-3.
That lasted just one season however, as Mount Vernon HS (TX) hired Briles to lead their program back in May.
Well Briles’ new team is the subject of a unanimous decision by a six-member district executive committee yesterday that could mean Mount Vernon forfeits up to five games, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The decision from the committee comes on the heels of a ruling that says two players on Briles team moved into the district “for athletic purposes.” That would make them ineligible to play by the rules of the school district.
But there’s more…
In an interesting decision three weeks ago, back on September 18th, the players were ruled eligible by a vote of 3-0, with three superintendents abstaining from voting. So they completely reversed course a few weeks later. The article points out that “It’s unclear at the moment what new information was provided between the two public meetings, causing the change in ruling.”
Mount Vernon superintendent Jason McCullough shared the following on the situation, stating that they plan to appeal the decision with the UIL, per the Dallas Morning News.:
“We are disappointed by and disagree with the sudden reversal of field by the District 7-AAA Executive Committee but respect its decision. Facts presented at a previous meeting on this topic resulted in the exoneration of the two students and validation of their athletic eligibility.
“Mount Vernon will contact the UIL to begin the appeal process. We feel confident that once the facts are reviewed by the State Executive Committee, the decision to punish the two students will be overturned.”
At the end of the first vote, where players were deemed eligible to play, Briles and his staff did what I can only imagine 99% of other high school programs would have done – they played the kids. To now be able to go back and make the team forfeit all five games after they were given the green light to play seems unfair to say the least. If Briles had played the kids, knowing they were ineligible, or even had doubts about it, then he’d deserve any punishment dished out.