The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League have changed their mind about hiring Art Briles as an assistant coach after a “lengthy discussion” with the league office on Monday.
Earlier in the day, the 0-8 Tiger-Cats and their head coach June Jones had announced they were hiring the controversial coach. Briles was fired as head coach at Baylor University during the sexual assault scandal involving numerous football players.
The league released a statement on the decision.
“Art Briles will no longer be joining the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a coach,” the league wrote. “We came to this decision this evening following a lengthy discussion between the league and the Hamilton organisation. We wish Mr. Briles all the best in his future endeavours.”
Tiger-Cats CEO Scott Mitchell initially defended the decision to hire Briles, saying he deserved a second chance.
“This is about giving someone a second chance and we’re committed to doing that,” Mitchell said, via TSN. “I think a lot of people in this world, including myself, have made bad decisions and have regrets and I certainly feel strongly that in this case, Art Briles deserves a second opportunity.”
However, after the decision to cancel the hiring, Hamilton owner Bob Young admitted that the CFL had saved the team from a huge mistake.
“[CFL commissioner] Randy Ambrosie saved the Ticats from a major blunder today,” Young wrote on Twitter. “Longer mea culpa coming tomorrow.”
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