AFCA cancels Art Briles' speech at convention due to 'concerns'

Art Briles will not be speaking at the American Football Coaches Association's annual convention after all.

Briles, the former Baylor coach who was fired amid a sexual assault scandal at the school, was originally scheduled to speak at the convention in a breakout session titled "Standing Strong / Game Management." AFCA executive director Todd Berry announced in a statement Monday morning that Briles had been removed as a speaker "due to concerns."

"The AFCA has always taken great pride in making sure we provide the best educational experiences for our coaches," Berry said in the statement. "We always appreciate our coaches and their willingness to share their experiences — on and off the field — to help educate the rest of our membership in their pursuit of professional growth.

"Art Briles was scheduled to speak at the 2018 AFCA Convention. However, due to concerns, we have decided to cancel his session. I'm saddened that our coaches have lost an opportunity."

Berry, who previously coached at Louisiana-Monroe from 2010 through 2015, told The Athletic over the weekend that AFCA planned to let Briles speak because "there are some things that happened, and he can share an experience no one else can with our group, so that we can avoid issues down the road."

Briles was fired at Baylor in 2016 following a string of sexual assault allegations and arrests involving members of the football team over multiple years. A law firm hired by the school found that Baylor athletic department officials and football staff members not only failed to report allegations of sexual misconduct to the proper authorities, but also contacted victims directly and discouraged them from doing so.

Briles has since denied that he tried to cover up sexual assault or impede any investigations.

© 2018 USATODAY.COM


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