As first reported by the Associated Press, former Baylor Head Coach Art Briles went on the warpath somewhat today in a legal filing in the federal court case brought against Baylor, former AD Ian McCaw, and himself by Jasmin Hernandez, who is alleging that the school failed to address and/or was indifferent to sexual assault.
Without going into the merits of Ms. Hernandez' case (this story from KWTX has background on it, should you wish to know more), the filing today by Coach Briles indicates that if people expected him to go quietly into the night, that's not going to happen. In his motion and the attached exhibits, Briles and his attorney make a number of allegations against Baylor and its attorneys primarily focused around the idea that though he was told he was being represented by Baylor's people, they weren't actually doing that or keeping him informed of what was going on. He also makes a rather weighty allegation that Baylor's attorneys "used statements, text messages, emails, and other personal information obtained for the purpose of this litigation" against Briles in support of his termination on May 26 (which is, interestingly, constantly referred to as a "termination"). That's a serious allegation, and the motion alleges that the joint representation described "resulted in liability to Coach Briles for damages under Texas statutory and common law for breach of contract, fraud, libel and slander, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among others."
In addition to the above, the filing also included a letter from Briles' attorney also containing rather salacious allegations. The biggest part:
The conclusion is inescapable that the motive of Baylor University and the Board of Regents was to use its Head Football Coach and the Baylor Athletic Department as a camouflage to disguise and distract from its own institutional failure to comply with Title IX and other federal civil rights laws. It is equally clear from the actions of Baylor University and the Board of Regents, both in the media and in its oral and written communications with Coach Briles since his wrongful termination, that they have ignored and repeatedly violated the clear duties that they owe under Texas law and by contract to Art Briles. Baylor University and the Board of Regents have refused to provide Coach Art Briles with any information or grounds which they used to support the termination of his employment. Anything that Baylor University or the Board of Regents have discovered or learned pertaining to Coach Art Briles is privileged and confidential and must be turned over to me immediately.
So far, we at ODB have refrained from offering much commentary about the rumored reinstatement of Briles as Baylor's head coach based on the fact that we weren't sure how much of a story it actually was, but the bottom line from today's filing should probably be that if it was ever a possibility before, it isn't now. Still, the above "camouflage" characterization from Briles' attorney will no doubt resonate with those Baylor fans/alums/boosters that think Briles should not have been fired to begin with, particularly if the allegation that Briles was not informed of why he was being terminated is true. While I can't speak to that, I can tell you one thing that seems pretty clear: the legal battles that Baylor probably hoped to conclude relatively quickly are only just beginning.
As always, we'll try to keep you as informed as possible about this story as it progresses.