End the blackballing on Briles
Let me address the Dec. 18 story about Coach Art Briles being considered at Tyler ISD.
When will it end? No head coach in college football history has been so unjustly maligned and blackballed. What happened at Baylor was wrong. However, to imply that Coach Briles was directly responsible because he didn’t better monitor players’ off-campus activities is way overstated. He was captain of the ship and ultimately fired, but not directly connected to the crimes.
In reality, Briles’ assistants had more direct contacts with the players. Two assistants even had prior NCAA rules violations. However, not a single assistant coach was fired. They all went on to coach in the next Baylor season under an interim head coach, then all moved on to new coaching jobs at other schools. None were blackballed.
After Coach Briles was removed, the Baylor president and athletic director were also forced to resign. The president went on to a new TV and consulting career and the athletic director was hired as AD at another major college.
The only official in the Baylor scandal blackballed was Coach Briles. He has been blackballed for high school, college and even NFL coaching positions.
Mount Vernon hired Briles over some community protests. The school board looked at his record beyond the Baylor scandal. He did win championships at Baylor, but more importantly, Coach Briles has an outstanding high school record at Sundown, Sweetwater, Hamlin, Georgetown and Stephenville before going into college coaching at Texas Tech, Houston and Baylor.
At Stephenville he won four state championships with a 135-29-2 record in 11 years. End the blackballing and let this coach continue his lifelong career.
— Dick Ellis, Tyler