Yesterday, news broke that the Big 12 would release a statement on Baylor and the sexual assault investigations surrounding the school, and now we have it.
The Big 12 Board of Directors is gravely and deeply concerned by media reports about activities involving the athletics program at Baylor University. On May 24, 2016, the Big 12 Board requested a full accounting of the circumstances surrounding the sexual assaults at the University. At this time the Board is only privy to information that has been made available to the public.
Today, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby sent a letter to Baylor University Interim President David Garland once again requesting all documents associated with the investigations of sexual assaults at Baylor. This request is for written materials as well as any information that has been conveyed orally to University leadership or to its Board of Regents including, but not limited to, the unedited written or verbal information from Pepper Hamilton, omitting only the names of any involved students. Internal documents pertinent to the investigation have also been requested.
Because many of the incidents at Baylor reportedly involve student-athletes, the Conference is appropriately concerned with discovery of the facts. The Big 12 is primarily configured to facilitate fair competition among its members and compliance to the rules of both the Conference and NCAA. To that end, full disclosure is vital to assess the impact on the Big 12.
“All of our member universities consider student safety and security to be paramount among institutional responsibilities,” said Bowlsby. “The Big 12 Board of Directors, each member of the Conference and its student-athletes want to convey that our thoughts, concerns and sympathies are with the Baylor survivors and their families.”
What jumps out the most is that this appears to be at least the second time the conference has asked for the results of the sexual assault investigations, and this time, in a very public way.
Exactly what penalties and sanctions could arise from this is unclear, but expulsion seems very unlikely. (Let’s be honest, the conference can ill-afford to lose another member) Most likely, any punishment would be financial.