On Wednesday morning, the Big 12 announced plans to withhold 25 percent of future revenue distribution payments to Baylor University.
The Big 12 Conference Board of Directors voted unanimously on the action. Obviously, Baylor did not hold a vote in the decision.
According to the press release, the money will be withheld, “pending the outcome of third-party verification review of required changes to Baylor’s athletics procedures and to institutional governance of its intercollegiate athletics programs, among other matters.”
In a statement, Big 12 Conference Board of Directors chairman David Boren said,“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.”
Baylor has been mired in a sexual assault scandal for the past year and a half that led to the firing of President Ken Starr, Athletic Director Ian McCaw, along with head football coach Art Briles. Briles’ staff was kept on for the 2016 season, but they were relieved of their duties after the hiring of new head coach Matt Rhule in December.
For months many have speculated what, if anything, the Big 12 conference would do to punish Baylor. The conference has decided to go the monetary route, potentially. Remember, if Baylor can prove that they’re up to the standards that the Big 12 is looking for and completes the audit on time, they may still receive their full payment, which has not been made to any Big 12 teams yet.
To give an idea of how much money we’re talking about, last season the Big 12 distributed about $30 million to each University. So Baylor is looking at a withholding of about $7-8 million.
Baylor released a response to the decision from President David Garland, including:
“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.”
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