Baylor Coach Art Briles Apologizes For Assistant At OU-Tulsa Game

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Baylor head coach Art Briles apologized on Monday for one of his assistant coaches being on the Tulsa sideline during their game with Oklahoma last Saturday, September 19.

The assistant coach is running backs coach/passing game coordinator Jeff Lebby.

It's an NCAA violation for a coach to be present at a game watching a future opponent.

Tulsa's head coach is Philip Montgomery, the former offensive coordinator at Baylor.

Briles addressed the issue at his weekly news conference Monday, September 21.

"I was not aware, sadly so," he said.  "If I had been aware, that situation would have never happened. When I found out, we alerted all the proper officials on both sides, here and I actually called coach (Bob) Stoops after the game and told him I was sorry we had a guy on their sideline. It's embarrassing to me, quite honestly."

Briles said the NCAA compliance division would be alerted and that no punishment was considered by the school.

"No, not on my part," he said.  "We'll check with compliance and see.  It's very uncommon.  There's not a lot of examples to go by.  It's kind of an unwritten rule. Guys my age apparently know it.  Younger people apparently don't.  So that's his alma mater, he was up there at a wedding and he probably thought it was OK to go lounge around ... for a few minutes.  But like I said, in my opinion, it's unethical."

"To me, there's not an advantage, first and foremost.  We get every film they've ever got and they get every film we've ever got.  As far as a scouting advantage, you're at a disadvantage standing on the sideline.  I don't think he was there that long, maybe a quarter.  I'm not even sure.  It's unfortunate.  I hate it.  I hate it from the perception standpoint.  But anybody who knows football, knows it's fine.  If they want to have somebody come stand on our sideline, it's fine because there is no advantage to it.  But it's something I was not aware of."

OU head coach Bob Stoops also discussed the incident at his news conference on September 21, saying it's something for the NCAA to deal with.

Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery also addressed the issue, saying "Obviously it was a mistake and a poor decision on my part to leave a credential for Jeff and his wife.  They were in the Oklahoma City/Norman area for a wedding and came to the game to support me.  There was no malicious intent on my part.  I've known Jeff since he was in the 6th grade.   I called coach Stoops today and apologized for this situation."

Lebby was spotted on the sidelines by former OU fullback J.D. Runnels, who tweeted that he saw Lebby on the sidelines.

Runnels knows Lebby because signed to play at Oklahoma out of high school, but had to end his career due to an injury, and was a student assistant coach at OU for four years.

Lebby is Briles' son-in-law as well.

Briles suspended two of his assistant coaches for their game against Lamar on September 12; his son Kendal, who is the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and wide receivers coach Tate Wallis, for an NCAA violation regarding recruiting.

Oklahoma defeated Tulsa 52-38, and will visit Baylor on November 14 in a game that could have Big 12 and national implications.

 

 

 

 

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