Baylor fires Coach Briles after report on sexual assaults

Baylor has fired football coach Art Briles after the board of regents got the results of an independent investigation into Baylor’s response to sexual assault allegations against students – including football players.

Briles, who was hired in December 2007, went 4-8 in his first two seasons. Baylor then went 7-6 and played in its first bowl game in 16 years in 2010.

Since 2011, Briles has compiled a 50-15 record, winning 10 games or more in four of the last five seasons.

Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw stepped down Monday, not long after the school named former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe as its interim football coach.

Speculation about the next head coach includes former Texas coach Mack Brown and Tulsa coach Phillip Montgomery, a former Baylor assistant who has not been implicated in the report.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby indicated an interest in Baylor’s report that led to the firing of Briles but said the investigation was not a league matter.

“Coach Briles certainly has had a remarkable career at Baylor. They’ve won a lot of games and they’ve built a beautiful stadium,” Bowlsby said. “There’s no doubt a sadness that goes along with this departure. And yet I think Baylor has been transparent in their handling in the matter. They’ve taken steps. I haven’t any vantage point from which to evaluate that (Briles’ firing) because I don’t know the inside information on it.”

Bowlsby admitted it was bad news for the Big 12.

“I do think that when one of our schools has problems, it reflects on all of our schools,” Bowlsby said. “From that standpoint, I think there’s certainly plenty to think about.”

He said the matter would be discussed at league meetings in June in Dallas. League expansion will be a big topic at those meetings.

“The one thing I have said to our CEOs is that we’re pretty well through our research process,” Bowlsby said. “We’re pretty well through the data analysis process. Now we need to get down the line and the path and make some decisions. I don’t think there’s any point in letting that linger on.”

Former Baylor President Ken Starr has been the chairman of the three-member composition committee. Starr was demoted to chancellor from president as part of the moves by Baylor.

Bowlsby said he wasn’t sure whether Starr would continue representing Baylor at future Big 12 meetings.