In defense of Briles

How can anybody in their right mind blame former Baylor head football coach Art Briles for the bad football players and what they did in their off time? If the players were raping the girls, where were the Baylor police?

Art Briles is a winning football coach. He started winning with teams in high school. That’s why Baylor hired him. And he performed for Baylor. He took Baylor to a great year and a Super Bowl. Why didn’t Baylor’s head people come to his aid after he was charged with some players getting out of line? After all, he was winning football games, taking Baylor to new heights and no doubt bringing in a lot of money for Baylor.

Looking back, some girls probably brought the problems on themselves. Were they drinking on the Baylor campus?

Now Art Briles has a new chance, coaching high school football at Mount Vernon High School. Coach Briles started out coaching high school students and had great success at it. Now there is some feedback at the high school about hiring Briles.

Again, if the high school boys get out of line, the police should be on top of the problem instantly. He can’t be their daddy and expect to win football games.

Bill Foster, Waco

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Regarding Trib opinion editor Bill Whitaker’s June 2 column on Baylor coach Art Briles [“Building athletic winners doesn’t mean building strong character”]: If Baylor University was so sure that the firing of Briles was fully justified, then why did they pay him $15 million? If he was guilty of any wrongdoing, they didn’t have to pay him a dime.

Second, if Whitaker has proof that Briles was guilty of just one wrongdoing, print it and then claim the $10,000 reward for his wife to spend.

In his response to my earlier letter, Whitaker insinuated that he has proof that Coach Briles committed wrongdoing. So he should print the proof or print his apology to Briles, especially since neither Baylor University nor the regents nor the law firm Pepper Hamilton tapped by regents to investigate found or published any proof that Briles himself was guilty of any wrongdoing. And Baylor’s standing by its firing since then is not proof!

Jim Cantrell, Axtell

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I apologize, Bill. I read the June 2 column Trib opinion editor Bill Whitaker wrote and initially thought it was nothing more than another hit piece directed at Coach Art Briles. Imagine my surprise and delight when I realized, upon reading it more closely, that the column was right on the money. Yes, count me among the Baylor alums who think the coach took a hit to deflect attention away from virtually non-existent actions before, during and after the turmoil. Coach Briles was their scapegoat.

Thanks to you, Bill Whitaker, for your column.

Dan Dayton, West