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Baylor is considering bringing back Art Briles as football coach in 2017, report says

Art Briles yells from the Baylor sideline on Sept. 12, 2015.
(LM Otero / Associated Press)

Art Briles was suspended with the intent to terminate by Baylor’s Board of Regents last month as part of a response to the scandal involving university leaders’ handling of sexual assault allegations against some Bears football players.

But there are some big-money donors to the school who reportedly are pushing to get rid of the termination part of the punishment and are in favor of Briles returning as head coach after one season away from the team.

According to multiple media reports, the Baylor Board of Regents is now considering just a one-year suspension for Briles. The board is scheduled to vote on the matter Monday, according to Horns Digest, which was first to report the story.

Briles has not made it known how he feels about the possibility of coaching the Bears again, the report said.

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After becoming head coach in 2008, Briles brought unprecedented success to the Baylor football program, including a 65-37 record and two Big 12 championships in the last three years.

Some donors, many of whom helped finance a $300-million stadium two years ago, say they will stop contributing to the university if Briles isn’t brought back as head coach in 2017, according to Horns Digest.

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Those donors, the report said, are pressuring school leaders to pin the majority of the blame for the scandal on former president/chancellor Ken Starr because he didn’t hire a Title IX coordinator to educate the coaches on how to properly respond to sexual assault accusations.

Starr was stripped of his duties as president on May 26 -- the same day Briles was suspended – and announced he would step down as chancellor on June 1. He remains with the university as a law professor.

Athletic director Ian McCaw also was put on probation because of the scandal. He later resigned.

Baylor hired Jim Grobe as acting football coach on May 31. Most of Briles’ assistant coaches – including son Kendal Briles and son-in-law Jeff Lebby – remain with the team.

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