The Big 12 Conference voted to withhold 25% of any future revenue distribution payments to Baylor University, the league announced on Wednesday.
The conference says the payments will be held pending the conclusion of a third-party verification review which required the school to change its athletics procedures and to institute governance of Baylor's athletics programs. Baylor has been rocked by accusations of rampant sexual assault on campus with athletes of different sports.
At least 50 acts of rape by dozens of football players in the past few years have been reported, the school is facing a half-dozen lawsuits, and the U.S. Department of Education is also investigating the school over their response to sexual assaults on campus.
“The Board is unified in establishing a process to verify that proper institutional controls are in place and sustainable,” said 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.”
Baylor University Interim President David E. Garland says the school has acted "aggressively and decisively" to the incidents of sexual assaults on campus.
An outside investigation conducted by Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton concluded that there were “institutional failures at every level” at Baylor in addressing sexual violence on campus.
Head football coach Art Briles was fired, athletic director Ian McCaw was suspended and resigned, and other department employees were fired as a result of the Hamilton report.
"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," Garland said.
- Scooby Axson