Coach Briles has been sued along with Baylor University. Various female plaintiffs allege the school did not protect them from sexual assaults. The lawsuit is based on Title IX which requires equal facilities for female students.  This week, Coach Briles filed a motion asking to be dismissed from the lawsuit. Among the reasons why he argues he should be dismissed are:

  • that the time limit for filing a Title IX lawsuit has passed. One of the plaintiffs was attacked by a football player in 2012, but suit was not filed until 2016;
  • under Title IX, a person cannot be sued in his own personal capacity;
  • Claims that Coach Briles was warned that a player was a sexual predator are based on hearsay;
  • under Texas law, a person cannot be held liable for the criminal acts of another. A person is not required to protect another person from criminal acts.

Legally, these may be good reasons for one defendant to be dismissed from a lawsuit. The time limit issue is problematic for the plaintiffs. But, we do not know the names of the other plaintiffs. We do not know if they have more timely claims against Baylor and Coach Briles. See San Antonio Express News report.

But, in the court of public opinion, Coach Briles will lose when he claims he had no responsibility to protect female students from sexual predators on his football team. Right or wrong, we expect a football coach at a major public university to have a good bit of control over his players. And, every female student who has ever attended a U.S. university came with some minimal expectation that no coach would knowingly allow a football player to prey on female students. In filing motions like that, one expects that Coach Briles does not intend to seek future jobs as a coach. Who would hire a coach who claims publicly that he has no duty to protect some students from his players?