Students, alumni have mixed reactions regarding termination of head football coach

Students, alumni have mixed reactions regarding termination of head football coach
Posted at 7:49 PM, May 26, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:11-04

Baylor students and alumni had mixed reactions regarding the termination of Head Football Coach Art Briles in the wake of the release of the independent and external review Findings of Fact of Baylor’s response to Title IX and related compliance issues.

Some students and members of the community News Channel 25 spoke with said they are saddened to see Briles go. They mentioned Briles shouldn’t have been the only responsible for handling discipline issues within the team.

Other students who agreed with the University’s decision to terminate Briles praised Baylor for putting students’ safety before football.  

Baylor Graduate Student Chris Williamson said if Briles didn’t go through the proper channels to report sexual assault cases, the dismissal is appropriate.

“I think it was the right thing to do with how they handled different reports in the department. It seems it needed to be done,” said Williamson. “If he wasn’t willing to stand up... for integrity. If he wasn’t willing to be with the mission of the university, he didn’t need to be the coach of the football team.”

The Pepper Hamilton independent and external review states the choices made by football staff and athletics leadership, in some cases, posed a risk to campus safety and integrity of the university.

“In certain instances, including reports of a sexual assault by multiple football players, athletics and football personnel affirmatively chose not to report sexual violence and dating violence to an appropriate administrator outside of athletics,” according to the Baylor University Board of Regents Findings of Fact.

Stephanie Mundhenk, a Baylor alumna who reported a sexual assault while she was a student at the university and didn’t think the process was just, released a statement to News Channel 25 regarding the released of the findings.

“There is no celebration on my end. Just grieving and mourning. I never wanted to be right. At times, I lost faith that I was. I am thankful that the truth has finally come out,”said Mundhenk. “May justice continue to be served.”

Williamson said the release of the Pepper Hamilton review shows transparency from the university.

"The fact they're willing to be public with it and that regents have answered questions about it and do interviews about it, it's respectable. I hope this can begin the healing process for a lot of people in different areas. I think it could be the beginning of a good thing," said Williamson. 

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