Briles a ‘poor decision’
Desperate Ticats admit hiring of coach wrong move
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
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