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Baylor Suspends Art Briles with Intent to Terminate, Reassigns Ken Starr

TCU's main rival made a tough, but necessary, move in dismissing the winningest coach in program history.

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Rumors went wild this morning when Craig Smoak, a radio host on ESPN 1660 in Central Texas, broke the news that Baylor would be announcing the dismissal of head coach Art Briles on Thursday morning.

The official release from Baylor is quite long, but here's the portion that talks about personnel changes:

The following personnel changes are effective immediately.

  • Ken Starr will no longer serve in the role of President of Baylor University effective May 31. David Garland, former dean and professor at Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary, will serve as Interim President of Baylor University while the University initiates a search for its next President. Garland previously served as Baylor's interim President from August 2008 to May 2010. Starr remains the Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law in Baylor's Law School and has agreed in principle to serve as Chancellor on terms that are still being discussed.
  • Effective immediately, Head Football Coach Art Briles has been suspended indefinitely with intent to terminate according to contractual procedures.
  • Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and placed on probation. McCaw will work with University leadership and the Board of Regents to implement the recommendations as they relate to the restoration of a tone of accountability within the football program, to effective oversight and controls of the Athletics department, and to critically needed changes that will re-align the Athletics program with the University mission.
  • Additional members of the Administration and Athletics program have also been dismissed. Neither these individuals nor the disciplinary actions will be identified publicly.
  • Greg Jones, as Executive Vice President and Provost, serves as second in command and will continue to have responsibility for the academic enterprise and fulfillment of the University's Christian mission.
  • The roles of members of several University departments will be clarified and staff will be engaged in continuing and robust training before the start of the Fall 2016 semester.
  • The overall business operations of the University, including Athletics, will be executed primarily through Dr. Reagan Ramsower, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
  • The Board of Regents has created the full-time position of Chief Compliance Officer that will report directly to the Office of the President.

They phrased Briles' termination in an interesting way, which indicates that his dismissal may not be final yet. That may just be a legal protection while they iron out the details. He has certainly coached his last game at Baylor.

These were all tough moves for Baylor to make, but they were necessary if the university truly cares about providing any type of justice to the victims involved. These moves were also necessary for the university to begin healing for itself.

It would be easy to "dance on the grave" as the Frog Cast tweeted out earlier, but don't take the bait. Don't go over to ODB, or Baylor Fans, or BearsTruth. Stand with the victims, and think about how we would want to be spoken to if this was happening to us.