Unless you've lived under a rock the last week or so, you've probably seen the nascent rumors running rampant through the online Baylor community that Art Briles' future at the school may not be so certain as once believed. Those rumors started with Baylor's 247Sports community last week and didn't seem to be gaining all that much traction until today, when noted Bears reporter Chip Brown at UT's Scout site and USAToday's Dan Wolken confirmed that some sort of vote will be going down, though they disagree about the likely result thereof. Here's what Wolken said:
A person with knowledge of the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the discussions, said there is indeed a faction of voices within the school’s Board of Regents still supporting Briles and urging the school to bring him back. But those voices, the person said, were few in number at this point and considered to be on the margins.
To set the stage a little: on Thursday, May 26, the Baylor Board of Regents suspended Baylor Head Coach Art Briles "with intent to terminate" per the school's release that day. The reports at that time indicated that Baylor had to wait 10 days to make the firing official, but that the action was a pro forma decision with no real consequence. Whether you abide by Rule 6's guidelines for computing time or not, ten days passed early last week with no official announcement about Briles' future.
About the same time that was happening, BearsTruth started teasing the possibility of Briles' reinstatement following some sort of suspension for this coming season. Speaking only for myself, I did not take those reports seriously out of a combination of fear that they might be true and hope that they weren't due to what I see as an inevitable backlash tsunami. Then, late last week, more people that are mostly independent from each other started saying the same thing, and the story started gaining steam.
This morning, Chip Brown "confirmed" that the Baylor Board of Regents, the same group of 32 people that has, in the last 2.5 weeks, removed the University's President/Chancellor, suspended its Athletic Director only to see him resign, and decided to implement all 105 recommendations from Pepper Hamilton as a "mandate" to reshape how the University addresses interpersonal violence on campus, will reportedly vote on whether to bring Art Briles back as head coach of Baylor Football. Dan Wolken of USAToday followed that up with the less inciting report above saying that yes, the Board will vote, but that it would be very unlikely to see any action other than termination.
Until we get more information from sources inside/around Baylor, it's impossible to predict how this is going to turn out. But reading between the lines at a bit, a couple of things become clear: 1) the BoR is clearly facing pressure from some number of regents/donors to reinstate Briles, and 2) we should know something today or tomorrow about what that means. A few other tweets from this morning:
Several reports #Baylor BOR is considering reinstating Art Briles. Source tells me players were told there are plans to "suspend Briles"— Nikki Laurenzo (@NikkiLaurenzo) June 13, 2016
Regarding the #Baylor BOR/Briles, a source close to the situation says there's "an unbelievable amount of pressure on the Board" right now.— Jessica Morrey (@JessicaMorrey) June 13, 2016
Sources: Briles could be back https://t.co/26uQcp6Pt3— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) June 13, 2016
As always, we will update this post throughout the day/week/whatever with additional information as it becomes available. Please continue to use your best judgment before posting, since I imagine this is going to be quite the contentious topic. All I can tell you is that I've heard everything from "if there's a vote, he's definitely back" to "if there's a vote, he's definitely gone," if that helps you understand the level of certainty we're dealing with here.
UPDATE: The Waco Trib is reporting that the Regents will meet at 6 PM tonight to discuss Briles's future.