Briles a ‘poor de­ci­sion’

Des­per­ate Ti­cats ad­mit hir­ing of coach wrong move

Metro Canada (Calgary) - - TELEVISION - The CAnA­dIAn PreSS WITh FIleS FrOM The AS­SO­CI­ATed PreSS

Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Scott Mitchell says the team re­versed its de­ci­sion on hir­ing scan­dal-plagued coach Art Briles after feel­ing the heat from fans and me­dia.

Mitchell told re­porters Tues­day that bring­ing in Briles, who was fired last year as head coach at Bay­lor in the wake of a sex­ual as­sault scan­dal that in­cluded mem­bers of the foot­ball team, was a “poor de­ci­sion that in ret­ro­spect we shouldn’t have made.’’

“Clearly the tim­ing was in­ap­pro­pri­ate,’’ Mitchell said. “Every­thing we do in the com- mu­nity we’re very sin­cere about, and I think clearly we missed the mark in terms of the mes­sage we were send­ing’.’

The CFL club an­nounced the hir­ing of Briles as an as­sis­tant to new head coach June Jones in a state­ment Mon­day. The move was widely crit­i­cized on so­cial me­dia.

Less than 11 hours after the an­nounce­ment, the Ti­cats and CFL is­sued a joint state­ment re­vers­ing the de­ci­sion to hire Briles.

“Ul­ti­mately, I’m re­spon­si­ble,’’ Mitchell said. “Any dis­cus­sion or sit­u­a­tion ul­ti­mately has to be brought to me.

“Ob­vi­ously, I’m re­spon­si­ble for the bad de­ci­sion, we should have stopped the de­ci­sion. I think we got wrapped up in the in­ner sanc­tum of foot­ball dis­cus­sions and for­got about very im­por­tant things like our stand­ing in the com­mu­nity.’’

The 61-year-old Briles was fired in May 2016 by Bay­lor after an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by a law firm found that over sev­eral years the school mis­han­dled nu­mer­ous sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions, in­clud­ing some against foot­ball play­ers. The Pep­per Hamil­ton re­view also led to the depar­tures of Bay­lor Uni­ver­sity pres­i­dent Ken­neth Starr and ath­letic director Ian McCaw.

“We made a large and se­ri­ous mis­take,’’ Ti­cats owner Bob Young said in a state­ment on Tues­day. “We want to apol­o­gize to our fans, cor­po­rate part­ners and the Cana­dian Foot­ball League.”

Briles has ac­knowl­edged mak­ing mis­takes and apol­o­gized for some “bad things that went on un­der my watch.’’ He has also pushed back against some ac­cu­sa­tions made against him and his pro­gram in law­suits and made clear he wanted to re­turn to coach­ing.

We got wrapped up in the in­ner sanc­tum of foot­ball dis­cus­sions and for­got about very im­por­tant things like our stand­ing in the com­mu­nity. Ti­cats CEO Scott Mitchell

ElSa/GETTy IM­aGES

U.S. Open De­FenD­ing ChAmp Ker­ber OUSteD An­gelique Ker­ber is gone from the U.S. Open, the first de­fend­ing cham­pion elim­i­nated in the first round in 12 years. The sixth-seeded Ger­man is out and on her way out of the top 10 after be­ing beaten by naomi Osaka of Ja­pan, pic­tured, 6-3, 6-1 in one of the only com­pleted matches on a rainy Tues­day. On the men’s side, rafael nadal im­proved to 13-0 in U.S. Open first-round matches by beat­ing Ser­bia’s du­san la­jovic 7-6 (6), 6-2, 6-2.

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