Art Briles has been fired by Baylor amid a major scandal. He came up with one of the great turnaround stories in college football history, but none of that matters much now.
It had to be done, and it had to be done sooner than later.
Art Briles was fired as the Baylor head football coach following a disastrous week for the program and the school.
Following the report from ESPN’s Outside The Lines that detailed a slew of sexual assault allegations that either went without discipline or were allegedly ignored, Baylor had absolutely no choice but to clean house and not let this draw out any further. President Ken Starr is out of his gig, and now it’s Briles who had to be let go after his handling of the alleged incidents.
And thus ends one of the most amazing on-field coaching jobs in college football.
Briles took a program that had done next to nothing in the Big 12, went 4-8 in each of his first two seasons, and then cranked up the offense to a historic level. Robert Griffin III became the star of the show with his Heisman-winning 2011 campaign, but the offensive numbers kept on rolling from there with Baylor finishing No. 1 in the nation in yards and scoring in 2013, 2014 and 2015 after finishing second in 2012 in yards and fourth in scoring.
How unbelievable was the turnaround? Baylor was 101st in the nation in scoring in 2009 and 85th in yards. Under Briles, the Bears were made 600-yard performance and 50 point games commonplace.
The program failed to win a Big 12 game in 2007 and won just three conference games over a three-year span, and in 2014, it came within an eyelash of going to the College Football Playoff.
But none of that matters now.
Briles went 65-37 at Baylor with two Big 12 titles, and he’ll be forever remembered on the field for what he did to change the game offensively, but he’ll also be associated as one of the first high-profile head football coaches to be fired for failing to handle his program properly for a variety of sexual assault allegations against some of his players. Consider this a watershed moment – it really is possible to blow the whistle on a juggernaut major football program that allegedly didn’t do the right thing.
The team is still talented enough to be a major part of the Big 12 championship puzzle, and in terms of talent, what Briles put together could continue to be special, but as Tony Barnhart put it best …