In his first public response since being removed as Baylor football coach, Art Briles said he is “contractually obligated to remain silent” on what he knew about the program’s handling of sexual assault allegations.

Baylor suspended Briles with intent to terminate last week, following an external investigation that discovered “institutional failures at every level of Baylor’s administration.”

Pepper Hamilton, the Philadelphia law firm commissioned by Baylor to conduct the investigation, suggested that Baylor’s coaches failed to report accusations of sexual assaults made against players to anyone outside of the athletic department. The report also stated that coaches failed to conduct proper background checks of incoming transfers.

In his statement, first issued to Waco’s KWTX-TV, Briles acknowledged that he had made mistakes and “would have done certain things differently.”

Here is his full statement:

Baylor Nation,

My heart goes out to the victims for the pain that they have endured. Sexual assault has no place on our campus or in our society. As a father of two daughters, a grandfather, and a husband, my prayers are with the victims of this type of abuse, wherever they are. After 38 years of coaching, I have certainly made mistakes and, in hindsight, I would have done certain things differently. I always strive to be a better coach, a better father and husband, and a better person.

Keep in mind, the complete scope of what happened here has not been disclosed and unfortunately at this time I am contractually obligated to remain silent on the matter. The report prepared by Pepper Hamilton, the law firm hired and paid for by Baylor’s Board of Regents, has not been shared with me directly, despite my full cooperation with the investigation. I can only assume that the report, which is not independent, supports the conclusions that the Board has already drawn. I hope to share with you what I was aware of as soon as I can so Baylor Nation can begin the healing process.

I have the utmost admiration for Baylor University, its community, and its important mission. I am truly grateful for having had the chance to coach hundreds of young student-athletes at this University. I am deeply humbled for having had the opportunity to be a part of Baylor Nation.

Coach Art Briles

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