Given the ugly allegations involving the Baylor football program on the watch of Art Briles, it would seem that he’d be radioactive for any other major college or NFL teams, at least for a while.
Define “a while.”
The Browns have made Briles a guest coach, getting minimal benefit but inviting maximum scrutiny for associating with a man who has become a pariah for his alleged role in efforts to suppress sexual-assault accusations at Baylor. Regardless of what he did or didn’t do, Baylor fired him earlier this year.
The league had no comment on the matter, in response to a Wednesday email from PFT.
The NFL likely isn’t officially stopping the Browns from having Briles around because he hasn’t officially been sanctioned by the NCAA. In the past, the NFL respected suspensions imposed by the college football governing body on former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and, subsequently, his former coach, Jim Tressel.
Unofficially, the league surely is concerned that the Browns would cozy up to someone like Briles for a limited assignment. The Browns are 0-5; how much is Briles’ presence going to help the cause? How much will having Briles around hurt the broader cause of the NFL?
At a time when the league is reeling to figure out why so many people aren’t watching pro football games on TV, the last thing the league or any its teams needs to do is give anyone else another reason to turn the channel.