I’ve got one question after reading this story about Art Briles’ ill-fated interview process at Southern Mississippi.
Southern Mississippi supporters reacted swiftly after reports emerged that the school was interviewing former Baylor football coach Art Briles for its vacant offensive coordinator position.
In emails to the school’s administration and athletic officials, they lobbied against hiring Briles because of his role in a sexual-assault scandal that led to his firing at Baylor. Some threatened to revoke financial support, either through season tickets or donations.
They needn’t have worried.
Southern Mississippi’s interim athletic director had decided against the hire even before Briles set foot on campus for an interview on Monday, Feb. 4. In an email obtained by USA TODAY through a public-records request, Jeff Mitchell instructed head coach Jay Hopson early on Feb. 3 to “go in another direction” for that position.
Saying that he was following up on “our earlier communication both in person on Friday and via text this morning,” Mitchell also wrote that he “can’t get to a place to support” hiring Briles. [Emphasis added.]
After openly defying his AD and embarrassing the school in the process, how is Jay Hopson still gainfully employed as Southern Miss’ head coach?