Dec 23, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; A Cleveland Browns fan holds a sign referencing Cincinnati Bengals coach Hue Jackson during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

In a not-too-surprising but extremely disappointing move, Grambling hired disgraced coach Art Briles to be their new offensive coordinator last week. The move was met with a lot of negative reactions, thanks in large part to the fact that the school and head coach Hue Jackson did not hold any kind of press conference or speak with the media about it. Briles himself did one interview with a local TV station where he reiterated that he was “exonerated” from the Baylor scandal in which it was shown that he knew about sexual assault allegations and other issues and did not escalate accordingly to ensure the safety of Baylor students.

Jackson broke his silence on Monday in the form of a statement released via the Hue Jackson Foundation. As expected, the statement tries to paint Briles as a victim of the situation and expresses a need for redemption and forgiveness for him without expressly saying what kind of opportunities or recompense has been offered to the victims of the Baylor scandal.

“The Hue Jackson Foundation has been dedicated to fighting against ALL forms of sexual abuse and exploitation as well as other forms of racial and social bias,” Jackson wrote. “We have a clear understanding of the role that coaches and others who have a position of trust play in the lives of those they meet.

“We also know and understand the process of identifying risks, helping others to heal, and the importance of prevention. We believe that through the hiring of Coach Briles and the well-developed programs we have in place, this hire will be instrumental in teaching others the importance of knowing how to prevent victimization, proper reporting procedures, provide adequate resources to individuals who have been victimized, and develop strong law enforcement partnerships within the community.”

Perhaps most disconcerting is the last paragraph of the statement, which implies that discussing what happened at Baylor under Art Briles would be a way of retraumatizing the victims. In other words, we don’t want to talk about it anymore.

If reactions from the college football world are any indication, the statement did not have the effect that was intended.

Perhaps understanding how this looks, Grambling took the time to publicly say that they had nothing to do with this statement.

The statement also has put a spotlight on the foundation itself and what it does with the money that it receives. Or perhaps more to the point, what it doesn’t do with the money that it receives.

As always, it’s a good reminder that no one “deserves” anything in life regardless of their accomplishments. And there’s no requirement that Art Briles has to coach or be hired by a university. We all make choices in this life and those choices have consequences. At least, unless you win a lot of football games.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to