Students and adults in Texas are up in arms after a high school there hired a decorated football coach who had been plagued with allegations of allowing sexual misconduct among his players. The criticism is a common one from advocates for victims of sexual abuse and betrays their zealous demands that people who may have done wrong be punished forever.
Texas High School Hires Football Coach With Title IX History
On May 24, Mount Vernon High School, a school of 500 in northeastern Texas, announced that it had signed Art Briles to a two-year contract to be their football coach.
Coach Briles has made a name for himself as a football coach over the last two decades. He was the head coach on the football teams at the University of Houston from 2002 through 2007 and then at Baylor University from 2008 through 2015. Before then, he had been a coach at Texas Tech and had coached high school football continuously since 1980.
At both Houston and Baylor, Coach Briles inherited a terrible football program and developed it into one that competed in bowl games. Two years before Coach Briles came to Houston, the team had gone 0-11. In the five years that Coach Briles was at the helm, the team went to four bowl games. At Baylor, Coach Briles inherited a program that had not had a winning season since entering the Big 12 Conference, 13 years earlier. Coach Briles broke that streak three years later and had turned the Baylor program into a nationally ranked team by 2011.
However, Coach Briles fell into controversy for how he handled the Baylor University sex assault scandal, which saw several members of his football team being accused of sexual misconduct and even gang rape. His response led to his dismissal from the helm of the football team in 2015, after which the team returned to mediocrity and has never been nationally ranked, since.
In the years after his dismissal, evidence has surfaced that Coach Briles and the football team may have been scapegoated to protect the rest of the school for a culture of sexual misconduct. Nevertheless, Coach Briles has had trouble finding a reputable job in football after the allegations, even losing a job offer in the Canadian Football League after a public relations blowback.
Criticism Against High School for Hiring Coach Briles
In the aftermath of hiring Coach Briles for their high school football team, Mount Vernon High School has been inundated with criticism, claiming that they value football wins more than the lives of sexual abuse victims. The outpouring of anger, however, overlooks the fact that the terms of Coach Briles' contract were approved unanimously by the school board, which includes two members of its Title IX office. Instead, it merely highlights how far abuse advocates are willing to go to continue to punish people who have been accused of sexual misconduct.
Title IX Defense Lawyer Joseph D. Lento
Joseph D. Lento is a Title IX defense lawyer and national Title IX advisor. Contact him online or call his law office at (888) 535-3686 for legal guidance if you have been accused of sexual misconduct on campus.