The soap opera continues as it’s been another turbulent week at crisis hit Baylor University. With an update on that plus the rest of this week’s news in the world of college football, here’s Andy Turner…
Art Briles Drops His Lawsuit (because he was shown to be a liar)
In a previous article regarding allegations concerning Baylor University it was mentioned that former coach Art Briles was suing the University over alleged libellous accusations concerning his conduct in relation to a variety of instances of serious player misconduct, including sexual assault cases.
He recently – and abruptly – dropped this lawsuit and last week it became clear why. Transcripts of a number of text messages unearthed by the University’s own investigation were released and these text messages make it clear that Briles and his staff were not only aware of many of the offences, but actively attempted to cover up and indeed conspired to bury the incidents.
Briles has gone from toxic to radioactive and if he ever coaches again it will be a surprise.
National Signing Day Winners and Losers
February 1st was National Signing Day in college football, which for those of you unfamiliar with it, is best described as a cross between the NFL draft and transfer deadline day in football.
Above is the final table, as defined by rivals.com
- USC made a big climb on the final day up to 5th. As someone who said after last season’s first month that Clay Helton was a dead man walking, I am not embarrassed to say USC are back.
- Texas A&M dropped out of the top 10, but only to 11, which is still impressive. What is more noteworthy is that they were the highest rated school in Texas. It’s noteworthy because their biggest rival and arguably the biggest name in college football, Texas, fell all the way to 33. After strong recruiting classes the last few years under the former regime, new coach Tom Herman clearly has work to do in restoring the Longhorns.
- Oklahoma, another Texas rival, pulled in another top 10 class but after them came four Big 12 schools in the 30’s. Clearly the Big 12 is not the draw for recruits it once was. Surprisingly, controversy hit Baylor managed the 39th ranked class nationally, which has to be seen as a tribute to new coach Matt Rhule.
- In contrast the SEC was again king in the recruitment wars with four colleges in the top 10 and eight in total in the top 20.
- Does powerful recruiting guarantee a national championship? Obviously not, as Georgia who finished strong to end up with the 3rd ranked recruiting class, have over the last few years consistently pulled in well ranked classes but have yet to come close to competing for the national title.
- Jim Harbaugh, sorry Michigan, pulled in a strong recruiting class again, the presentation of which was a site to behold. He gets recruiting.
Jim Leonhard, Cerebral Safety to Hotshot Coach
Jim Leonhard, who played safety for six NFL teams in his pro career before retiring in 2014, has been named defensive coordinator at Wisconsin. After leaving the NFL he returned to his alma mater Wisconsin as a volunteer coach. He progressed rapidly through the ranks and when DC Justin Wilcox left this offseason Leonhard was promoted from DB coach to DC.
Sarkisian on the move
Steve Sarkisian, who took over as Alabama’s OC after Lane Kiffin signed up as HC of Florida Atlantic, has moved to Atlanta as Kyle Shanahan‘s replacement as OC. It’s an interesting move as Sarkisian had been rehabilitating his coaching career at Alabama after leaving USC in acrimonious circumstances (primarily relating to a drinking problem).
Rumours are that over the last couple of months his relationship with Nick Saban had deteriorated and after his departure was announced ‘Bama O lineman Alphonse Taylor had a parting shot at Sarkisian on Twitter
And Finally… Baylor. Again.
Newly hired strength and conditioning coach Brandon Washington was arrested by Waco police as part of a prostitution sting and summarily fired when the news broke.
New HC Matt Rhule said “When we arrived at Baylor we made a commitment to character and integrity in our program, Brandon’s actions are completely unacceptable. We will not tolerate conduct that is contradictory to these values.”
Actually sounds like you’re fitting in with the Baylor credo.