In the wake of the sexual assault scandals that have rocked Baylor over the last year, the Big 12 voted on Wednesday to withhold 25 percent of the Bear’s future revenue share until Baylor makes required changes to its athletics procedures and institutional governance of its athletic programs. A third party will be responsible to determine if Baylor has met those conditions or not.
“The Board is unified in establishing a process to verify that proper institutional controls are in place and sustainable,” said University of Oklahoma president and Big 12 Conference Board of Directors chairman David Boren. “Effective immediately, the Conference is withholding 25 percent of Baylor’s share of any future revenue distribution until the proper execution of controls is independently verified. By taking these actions the Board desires to ensure that the changes that were promised are actually made and that systems are in place to avoid future problems. The proportional withholding of revenue distribution payments will be in effect until the Board has determined that Baylor is in compliance with Conference bylaws and regulations as well as all components of Title IX.”
The withholding could equal over $7 million a year. Baylor, who was not included in the vote, has issued a statement in response to the Big 12’s decision.
“Upon learning the scope and scale of the troubling incidents that occurred within our campus community through an independent investigation, Baylor University took unprecedented corrective actions that led to leadership changes within the University administration and athletic department and 105 recommendations to strengthen the safety and security of our students. No other university in the country has responded as aggressively and decisively as Baylor regarding incidents of sexual assaults on its campus.”
Sorry, have to interrupt here, that last sentence… While it may be technically true, I’m not sure it’s as positive as they make it sound here…
“Under the University’s new leadership, Baylor has demonstrated a firm commitment to athletics compliance and integrity, increased awareness and prevention of sexual assault, implementation of Title IX best practices and providing comprehensive support services for any student in need of them. Baylor already had planned to hire an outside auditor to audit the implementation of our enhanced practices, and we welcome the Big 12 Conference’s request of an independent review. While the withholding of conference distributions is an unexpected financial event, we do not deem these actions to materially impact the overall financial position of the University. We pledge our full cooperation, and we will work with the Big 12 Conference to conduct the audit as expeditiously as possible.
Sorry, interrupting again, the same new leadership that just had a staff member arrested for soliciting prostitution?… Carry on.
“This third-party review at the request of the Big 12 Conference will provide an opportunity for us to demonstrate our progress to date and our ongoing commitment in establishing Baylor as a leading institution in athletics compliance and governance and for preventing and addressing sexual assaults on college campuses.”
In all seriousness, the Big 12 may be doing some grandstanding here, but at least it’s something. Baylor showed better leadership by immediately firing coach Washington, but they cannot continue to have these embarrassing gaffes take place. While they are taking steps in the right direction, they have proven time and again that they cannot be relied on to govern themselves without some sort of oversight or repercussion.