The Big 12 announced Wednesday it is withholding 25 percent of conference-generated revenue from Baylor until the league is satisfied that “proper institutional controls are in place” and that the athletic department is complying with Title IX guidelines.
Baylor is investigating 125 cases of sexual assault or harassment reported to have occurred from 2011-15. The school’s Office of General Counsel is examining the cases to identify how they were handled.
The most recent allegations of sexual violence include four reports of gang rapes.
The Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, hired by Baylor to look into allegations, found “institutional failures at every level.” Football coach Art Briles and athletic director Ian McCaw lost their jobs, and university president Ken Starr was demoted and later left the school.
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Besides the changes in leadership, Baylor created task forces to carry out more than 100 recommendations from the Hamilton report, including adding Title IX staff and mandating annual Title IX training for coaches, administrators and students among others.
The Big 12 Board of Directors, chaired by Oklahoma president David Boren, wants proof of the progress.
“The Board is unified in establishing a process to verify that proper institutional controls are in place and sustainable,” Boren said in a news release.
The Big 12 distributed about $30 million per school from its TV contracts, bowl contracts and NCAA Tournament revenue among other sources last year.
According to The Associated Press, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Baylor has already received a $10 million payout for part of 2016-17 and the league expects a total payout of $34 million for each of its 10 schools. The league will withhold 25 percent of the remaining projected $24 million payout — or about $6 million this year.
“By taking these actions the Board desires to ensure that the changes that were promised are actually made and that the systems are in place to avoid future problems,” Boren said in the release.
“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.”
Bowlsby said earlier this week that Baylor has made “significant progress” on completing the recommendations.
“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,” interim Baylor president David Garland said in a statement. “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.”
Bowlsby, according to the AP, said the conference was limited in what actions it could take against Baylor because it does not have an investigative arm and its bylaws do not necessarily cover the school’s alleged transgressions. He said the Big 12 would rely on the findings of the federal Office of Civil Rights, which enforces Title IX, and the NCAA to determine possible punishments for Baylor.
The Associated Press contributed to this report