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After backlash, Art Briles won’t join Hue Jackson’s Grambling staff after all

Former NFL head coach Hue Jackson has faced significant criticism for his decision to add disgraced ex-Baylor coach Art Briles to the staff at Grambling. And after initially defending the hiring of Briles, the backlash appears to have become too much.

Briles will not be the Grambling offensive coordinator after all.

Grambling termed Briles’ departure as a “resignation,” and Briles issued a statement suggesting he chose to leave.

“I feel that my continued presence will be a distraction to you and your team, which is the last thing that I want,” Briles said in the statement, according to Pete Thamel of ESPN.

Briles’ arrival led to prominent alumni like Doug Williams refusing to support the program, and the school may have told Briles that he could either resign gracefully or they’d force him out.

The Grambling job was the first college coaching job Briles got since he was fired at Baylor for his handling of sexual assault accusations against his players. The same scandal also resulted in the firing of Ken Starr as the university’s president.

The episode is a black eye for Jackson in his first head-coaching job since he was fired by the Browns, and it has even led to scrutiny on Jackson’s foundation. Grambling has a storied football history, and in his first few months on the job, Jackson has done nothing to indicate that he is going to return Grambling to football glory.