How will Mississippi State football handle the Art Briles questions that are brought up?
When I was in grad school, a fair bit of my research and work centered around public relations, crisis management, and theories of how to deal with stakeholders. I spent a lot of time digging into faith-holder and hate-holder theories and understanding how that impacts how an institution or organization in the way it deals with various different circumstances.
And so I’m fascinated about how Mississippi State will deal with the way people perceive the connections that Lebby has to his former boss, mentor, and father-in-law, Art Briles.
Because no matter what they do, the Bulldogs and their leadership are going to upset someone. There are plenty of people who will focus on what happened at Baylor. There are also plenty of people who are willing to give Lebby another chance and let him move forward as long as he’s willing to move forward. And some people just flat out don’t care about Baylor.
So, how does MSU handle these questions?
Regardless of your personal view of Briles or your understanding of legal standards of negligence, the Baylor situation is something that should be handled with a lot of care because of how complex and messy it is.
For many people, it will be an elephant in the room for the entire time that Lebby is in Starkville. And while I don’t think anyone reasonable is asking for Lebby to cut off his personal relationship with his father-in-law, MSU will need to proceed with caution here.
Zac Selmon and the institution had the vet this hire and they had to weigh the criticism they will likely face from this. There will be people who view Lebby exclusively on what happened at Baylor. There’s no way MSU’s leaders don’t understand that.
So, how are they going to handle the questions when they come up? Again, there’s no way the Bulldogs and their leadership will make everyone happy here. So, what do they do?