Report: Briles won’t punish coach who stood on Tulsa sideline

Baylor coach Art Briles (left) and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops have been cordial on the field in the past, but will that all change in light of Saturday's actions by a Bears assistant?

Kevin Jairaj/Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor coach Art Briles said he is embarrassed that one of his assistant coaches ended up on the Tulsa sideline during the Golden Hurricane’s game against Oklahoma on Saturday, but he plans no punishment.

Bears assistant Jeff Lebby was spotted on the Tulsa sideline, a violation of the opponent-scouting rule in light of the fact Baylor and Oklahoma play each other later this season. Sooners coach Bob Stoops said he was not happy about it and said during his weekly press conference that the incident should be reported to the NCAA.

Briles released a statement apologizing for the incident and said he even called Stoops to apologize. Briles has since said that the NCAA compliance division will be alerted, but added he has no plans on in-house punishment for Lebby, a 2002 recruit of Stoops at Oklahoma who, according to his bio on the Baylor website, served four years as a student coach at Oklahoma after an injury ended his playing career.

"No, not on my part," Briles said at his weekly press conference of any plans to discipline Lebby, as reported by the Dallas Morning News. "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."

Briles said he doesn’t believe there is any competitive advantage to be had from an assistant standing on the sideline of game involving a team in the same conference.

"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," Briles said. "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."

At his weekly press conference, Stoops said it’s a pretty cut-and-dried rule that Baylor’s assistant coach should have known.

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"I didn’t find that out until after the game," Stoops reportedly said during his Monday news conference. "But, that seems to be, that’s a pretty fundamental rule. That’s not allowed. So I don’t know what he was doing here. It’s something that needs to be reported and needs to be dealt with through the Big 12 office and our people. I’m sure they will. I’ve got a team to coach, but they’ll handle those matters I’m sure, and the NCAA will."

The Oklahoma-Baylor rivalry has grown significantly over the last few years as the Bears have become a national player. The Bears have won at least a share of the Big 12 title the last two seasons, and soundly defeated the Sooners in Norman last season.

Both teams are unbeaten and ranked (fifth-ranked Baylor is 2-0; No. 15 Oklahoma is 3-0) and will face off in Waco, Texas, on Nov. 14.

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