Tennessee football is looking at Kendal Briles to be its new offensive coordinator. Despite his past, he would bring no real baggage to the Volunteers.
It seems like national media will do everything they can to stop Tennessee football from ever making a good hire. They got mad at Vols fans last year for rejecting a mediocre head coaching hire in Greg Schiano and defended Schiano against sworn testimony by Mike McQueary that he had witnessed something related to the Jerry Sandusky scandal with the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Now, the Vols are looking for a new offensive coordinator. It started with Hugh Freeze, and the baggage behind him appears to have resulted in a move by powerful people at UT to block the hire. Fair enough. But now, they’re looking at Kendal Briles, and the anger is starting up again.
What’s the root of all the anger? Briles was working on the Baylor Bears’ staff when the sexual assault scandal of the program occurred while his father, Art Briles, was head coach. The scandal surrounding Kendal Briles is that in the lawsuit filed by a Baylor graduate student against the university that was first reported in the Dallas Morning News, he allegedly told a recruit, “Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players.”
So the worst accusation possible made against Briles is that he was using the ability to have sex to lure a recruit to Baylor. There is nothing, I repeat, nothing that ties him to the overall coverup in the sexual assault scandal at Baylor. The connections are so thin that he was allowed to stay on staff after his father was fired.
By the way, it’s not confirmed that the statement was even true. As reported in the Waco Tribune-Herald this past summer, Baylor settled in the lawsuit, but a settlement is NOT an admission of guilt of everything alleged in the suit. And that was one of many things alleged.
Simply put, there is nothing that could be a drawback from Tennessee football bringing in Briles. And any comparisons of him to Freeze or Schiano make no sense whatsoever. Let’s just look at the facts for a minute.
Starting with Schiano, he and Briles both have scandals because of allegations in court documents. The documents against Schiano, however, are far more incriminating, and given that they are sworn testimony in a deposition by a guy who has no incentive to say otherwise, they are also more likely to be true. But even assuming they’re both true, what’s worse: witnessing an act of child molestation and not reporting it, or making an off-color sex joke to get a recruit? Yeah, they aren’t similar at all.
It’s also worth noting that Briles is a candidate to be Tennessee football’s offensive coordinator while Schiano was a candidate for head coach. And finally, Briles is actually good at his job. Schiano has been a miserable defensive coordinator for the Ohio State Buckeyes, costing them the College Football Playoff each of the past two years.
When it comes to Freeze, the guy had a paper trail of incriminating evidence. As you can read about in this ESPN report here, documented evidence showed Freeze making a call to an escort service. Then there were all the reports of improper benefits to players and the disgusting fact that the Ole Miss Rebels under Freeze tried to scapegoat former head coach Houston Nutt in all of this. So it’s confirmed that Freeze is guilty of doing something illegal, while Briles is accused of doing something not illegal.
Add in the fact that Freeze was your typical southern Christian hypocrite. Before coaching in college, he was at Briarcrest High School, a private school in the city of Memphis whose website says “Christian values and biblical morals are taught and practiced in every aspect of school life.” But while Freeze was there, as the school presented itself above the Godless public schools in the city, they developed Greg Hardy of all people and hid behind Michael Oher’s story to save face. So it’s a hypocritical judgmental Christian school for a hypocritical judgmental Christian coach.
When you take all this into account, Briles brings literally no baggage to Tennessee football if the Vols hire him. It’s embarrassing for anybody to suggest otherwise. The only reason people criticized UT fans stopping the Schiano hire and are now criticizing them accepting a potential Briles hire is they don’t want the Vols to succeed. They’re mad because Briles is actually a brilliant offensive mind, while Schiano is a disaster. It’s as simple as that.