Monday, January 8, 2018

About Kendal Briles and Randy Clements: An Open Letter to [U of H Regent Chair] Tilman Fertitta

"Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
Matthew 7:20

[Note: Readers can ask Fertitta their own questions on Twitter -- @TilmanJFertitta]

Tilman J. Fertitta
University of Houston Board Regents

Dear Chairman Fertitta,

Thank you for your time.  I'm an Austin based blogger who covers Texas politics.  Historically, I've been a fan of your performance as the Chairman of the University of Houston Board of Regents.  I applaud your effort to halt the University of Texas' Houston land grab during the 85th session of the Texas Legislature.

Today I'm writing over something much more alarming: The University of Houston's inexplicable decision to hire former Baylor assistant coaches Kendal Briles and Randy Clements in the Cougar football program.

Over the past several years Baylor Univesrty has been enmeshed in a slowly unfolding sexual assault scandal, the depths of which are almost too awful to plumb.  For everything we've learned in recent months, the Baylor scandals remain the most horrifying.  But even amidst the grotesque onslaught that's come out of Baylor, Kendall Briles' mendacity stands out.

According to books, lawsuits, and press reports Kendal Briles made the the following comment to a recruit about female Baylor students: "Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players."


You just hired a guy who's been caught facilitating racially charged sexual assaults.  It's difficult to believe this could actually happen, but apparently this is how the University of Houston chooses to do business.  It's mind boggling.

I understand you're busy.  Between being CEO of Landry Restaurants, your casino interests, your CNBC show, and ownership of the Houston Rockets, you have a lot on your plate.  If the Kendal Briles and Randy Clements hires were an oversight due to a packed schedule, I encourage you to promptly rectify the situation.

As long as Kendal Briles and Randy Clements remain on the Cougar coaching staff, it's difficult to avoid the conclusion the the University of Houston condones the type of chilling abuses about which we've recently learned.

It should also go without saying that Big-12 expansion is a non-starter as long as Kendal Briles and Randy Clements remain on the Cougar coaching staff.

As Chairman of the University of Houston Board of Regents, the buck stops with you; choose wisely.

Adam Cahn
Austin, TX

P.S. One recently relevant part of my background: In the past two months, I helped lead efforts to get both Congressmen Joe Barton and Blake Farenthold to retire.  While Barton's and Farenthold's respective conduct was reprehensible, either one of them is a fraction compared to Kendal Briles.  Like I said, choose wisely.

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