Former Baylor University head football coach Art Briles dropped a libel lawsuit Wednesday against three regents and a senior vice president, a lawyer representing the regents said.
Briles, who was fired amid a sexual assault scandal in May, had accused board Chairman Ron Murff, regents J. Cary Gray and David Harper, and Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Reagan Ramsower of making false statements about him to the media.
Briles reached an agreement with the university last summer to resolve his contract after he was fired.
Briles has dropped the libel lawsuit, Houston lawyer Rusty Hardin said Wednesday afternoon. Hardin represents the three regents. Briles’ lawyer, Ernest Cannon, was not available for comment.
On Thursday morning, Hardin said there was no settlement involved. He declined to comment further.
“(Briles) just decided to dismiss his lawsuit and everybody walked away,” Hardin said.
Ramsower’s lawyer, Katherine Mackillop, also was not available.
A Baylor spokeswoman declined to comment.
The four defendants denied the allegations in a filing last month responding to the lawsuit filed in December in 424th State District Court in Llano County.
Briles had accused them of libel, slander, conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress after the contract agreement was reached.
In October, regents told The Wall Street Journal that 17 women reported sexual or physical violence against 19 football players, including four alleged gang rapes, while Briles was coaching. In the suit, Briles said these statements were false and manufactured by G.F. Bunting + Co., a public relations firm working with Baylor.
Regents also have said Briles knew of at least one case of violence and did not report it to police or the proper university officials.
Briles has said these comments have prevented him from getting another job as a head football coach. In the suit, Briles said he has not discussed the settlement terms or criticized regents publicly. Last spring, Briles filed a motion in a Title IX lawsuit that named him as a defendant, accusing Baylor lawyers also representing Briles at the time of using information Briles told them against him.
Ken Starr also was removed as president in May before cutting remaining ties with the university in the following months, and Athletics Director Ian McCaw was sanctioned and placed on probation before resigning days later.
Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP found a “fundamental failure” in Baylor’s Title IX implementation and a football program operating “above the rules,” regents reported at the time.
Two other athletics staffers, Tom Hill and Colin Shillinglaw, also were dismissed in May. Both have sued Pepper Hamilton, and Shillinglaw is also suing a host of other Baylor officials.
Two former football players, Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu, have been convicted on sexual assault charges since 2014. Former football player Shawn Oakman has been indicted on sexual assault charges, and others have been accused of sexual and physical violence.