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Heather Dinich, ESPN Senior Writer 257d

Art Briles' speech to coaches at convention canceled

College Football, Baylor Bears

Former Baylor coach Art Briles was scheduled to speak at the 2018 American Football Coaches Association convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, but his session was canceled "due to concerns," according to a statement on Monday from AFCA executive director Todd Berry.

"I am saddened that our coaches have lost an opportunity," Berry said in a prepared statement.

The "concerns" came from outside pressure and concerns about security.

An AFCA spokesman said that "social media criticism was the biggest concern." But Berry said that the speech was canceled because the room could not be secured to allow only coaches to attend. Briles and Berry did not want media to attend.

"He obviously felt concerned about it, and so did I," Berry said.

In response to the decision, Briles sent a text to ESPN saying, "My intention to speak at AFCA was to educate and inform coaches of making sure Title IX policies-procedures and reporting policies are in place. I want to give back to the profession that has given so much to so many!"

Briles has been out of coaching since May 2016, when Baylor officials suspended him with intent to terminate for his role in the school's sexual assault scandal. He later reached an undisclosed financial settlement with Baylor, where he coached from 2008 to 2015, posting a 65-37 record and winning a share of back-to-back Big 12 titles in 2013 and 2014.

Berry said that Briles approached him and offered his experience as a cautionary tale for other coaches.

"I know that he wants to help the profession at this point in time," Berry said. "He wants to give back so that things don't happen to other people. I don't know when that's going to be. That's going to be up to Art. Hopefully this doesn't dissuade him from taking the opportunity down the road with another coaching group."

The convention began Sunday and is schedule to run through Wednesday. Briles was slated to speak on Tuesday.

ESPN's Adam Rittenberg and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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