Baylor has formally, officially, finally severed ties with Art Briles. The two sides released a joint statement Friday evening, each acknowledging wrongdoing while also saying complementary things about each other.
Baylor University and Art Briles have mutually agreed to terminate their employment relationship, effective immediately. Both parties acknowledge that there were serious shortcomings in the response to reports of sexual violence by some student-athletes, including deficiencies in University processes and the delegation of disciplinary responsibilities with the football program. Baylor is addressing these shortcomings and making ongoing improvements.
Baylor wishes Coach Briles well in his future endeavors. Coach Briles expresses his thanks to the City of Waco and wishes the Baylor Bears success in the future.
The rosy language between the two, coupled with Briles’s lawyers threats last week, signal an undisclosed buyout figure was settled on — likely the rough equivalent of the GDP of Botswana. Briles was owed a reported $40 million on the 10-year extension he signed after leading the Bears to the 2013 Big 12 championship.
The timing of the announcement — Friday night, 7 p.m. Texas time — follows a clear pattern used by Baylor brass throughout its ongoing sexual harassment scandal:
– “Baylor settles with Sam Ukwauchu victim” — New Year’s Eve
– “Baylor president Ken Starr offers first public comments on sexual violence saga” — Super Bowl Sunday
– “Baylor hires Jim Grobe as acting head coach” — Memorial Day
Given that strategy, it’s a wonder why Baylor didn’t wait until Fourth of July weekend to push this news out.