The Big 12 has voted unanimously to withhold 25 percent of future revenue for Baylor until the university proves it is on the right institutional path.
This, however, is not a punishment; it is a verification process.
“This isn’t an additional investigation by the conference,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “We have no structure to investigate, but rather, this is something based in part on new information that came out last week. I think there were some things that tied the office of the president to overruling some academic fraud issues and reinstating a student-athlete. There were some things that were represented in text messages among athletic staff members, both of which were new information. The board has been monitoring very closely – and had been receiving reports from Baylor over the last four or five board meetings – and I think perhaps they reached a little bit of a tipping point where they just said, ‘They’re far enough into this process now. We need to make sure that what they say they’re doing, they’re actually doing.’ And in order to put some teeth in that, they acted to withhold 25 percent of Baylor’s distributable revenue until the verification process is completed.”
Each Big 12 university received roughly $30 million in revenue last year, meaning that roughly $7.5 million could be withheld from Baylor over the next year. The money will be held in escrow until the board verifies that Baylor, which came under fire for a sexual-assault scandal, is on the right path.
“I just think it’s a representation of the concern that the board has,” Bowlsby said. “I think that it’s important to draw the distinction between an investigation and a verification process. We certainly expect that whoever we employ to go and do the verification would make sure that the best components of good institutional governance are in place, that the university is in complete compliance with institutional control and that they are meeting all the stipulations of Title IX. As you know, the NCAA is looking into a number of different things on campus. We will yield to their process but be responsive once their process is completed.”
A sexual-assault scandal is about as bad as it gets for a university, but this wasn’t Baylor’s first negative foray into the national spotlight.
“Baylor has had some other problems,” Bowlsby said. “They had an academic fraud matter in the late-90s that was a big deal, and then they had the problem in the basketball program. One of their students was actually murdered, and there were a lot of issues there 10 years or so ago. We want to make sure that this is sustainable so we aren’t going to have these problems in the future.”
Bowslby was asked about the possibility of Baylor one day receiving the death penalty.
“I don’t have any idea about that,” he said. “I think that we’re a very long ways from any consideration of that sort of thing.”