Last week first-year Grambling State head coach Hue Jackson made a very controversial hire to his coaching staff. Jackson brought in former Baylor Bears head coach Art Briles. On Monday, after just four days on the job, Briles resigned amidst a firestorm of negative press and adversarial reactions from both within the Grambling family and media.
Source: Art Briles will no longer be the offensive coordinator at Grambling.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) February 28, 2022
Briles was fired from the Waco, Texas, school in 2016 for overlooking dozens of sexual assault allegations against his players over several years. Since that firing Briles has only coached in Italy and on the high school level. He was hired to the staff of the CFL’s Hamiiton Tiger-Cats in 2017, but major pushback from league sponsors stopped the move.
In a statement following his resignation Briles said, “Unfortunately, I feel that my continued presence will be a distraction to you and your team, which is the last thing that I want. I have the utmost respect for the university and its players.”
Briles knows he made huge mistakes at Baylor and that in turn has cost him jobs. He talked about what he should’ve done differently on a local television interview last week after his hiring.
Grambling State Announces 2022 Football Schedule https://t.co/cN5UEgWRWC
— GSU_Tigers (@GSU_TIGERS) January 26, 2022
“That’s a huge question. Just make sure everyone is on the same page about what they’re doing, when they’re doing it, and how to protect students and everybody involved. Like I said, we’re still learning, I’m still learning, I’m kind of a good soldier so to speak. You tell me what to do, in gonna do it, that’s just what I’ve always done. So hopefully, you know, I’ve learned people need to recognize the places, policies and procedures that are there and understand the space that every individual deserves.”
Following the hiring, former Grambling State legend and Super Bowl XXII MVP Doug Williams was highly upset. Williams is the most decorated player in Grambling history and a former head coach at the university.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Williams let his feelings be heard and said he is severing all ties with the school in light of the Briles hiring.
“If that’s what they wanna do, that’s fine. I’m out. I’m not a fan at all. I’m very, very disappointed in Grambling. I talked to the AD a couple times. They knew where I stood, but they did it, and if that’s what they want to do, that’s fine, I’m out.”
Smith went at Hue Jackson for the hiring. He couldn’t believe what he was witnessing, and he made sure America heard him, which is sort of impossible not to when he rants.
Stephen A.’s thoughts on Art Briles stepping down & Hue Jackson’s decision to hire him | First Take https://t.co/xMxoMPMkFY
— The Chestnut Post (@TheChestnutPost) March 1, 2022
“How in God’s name could you make this call at an HBCU? After the battles you’ve been known to fight as recently as two weeks earlier on ‘SportsCenter,’ lamenting the lack of opportunities for Black coaches. You get it and this is what you do. There is no getting around that. And Hue Jackson, I don’t want anybody to think that he is anything less than a good man just because you’re stubborn or hard-headed or truculent, because you believe what you’re doing is right doesn’t make you a bad person by any stretch of the imagination. But to make this decision. It will live in infamy that Hue Jackson made this call to begin with.”
Jackson Stood By His Decision: What Else Is He Gonna Do?
Grambling State Tabs Hue Jackson as Head Football Coach https://t.co/RmVnoG6PCP
— GSU_Tigers (@GSU_TIGERS) December 10, 2021
In a letter following the hiring, Jackson wrote that there were three factors that played a role in his decision to bring Briles on staff. He mentioned forgiveness, redemption and enlightenment. He believes in second chances and that’s why he hired Briles.
“People can and often do become re-traumatized and re-victimized by statements which may or may not be accurate,” Jackson said.
— HueJacksonFoundation (@HueJacksonFDN) February 25, 2022
Many likened the Briles hire to Urban Meyer hiring Chris Doyle to his Jaguars staff and then having him resign after major blowback. Now Hue Jackson has that dark cloud over his program, and they haven’t even begun spring practice.
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