Big 12 withholds 25 percent of Baylor's league revenues

Dr. Saturday
Big 12 teams received approximately $30 million each in 2015-16. (Getty)
Big 12 teams received approximately $30 million each in 2015-16. (Getty)

Baylor will be receiving just 75 percent of what other Big 12 teams receive from the conference for the near future.

The Big 12 said Wednesday that its board of directors had voted “unanimously” to withhold 25 percent of the league’s revenue distribution to the school “pending the outcome of third-party verification review of required changes to Baylor’s athletics procedures” and the governance of its athletic department.

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[Related: Baylor assistant arrested in prostitution sting]

“The Board is unified in establishing a process to verify that proper institutional controls are in place and sustainable,” Oklahoma president and Big 12 board chair David Boren said in a statement. “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.”

After it became clear just how horribly Baylor had been handling accusations of sexual assault at the university, the conference asked in June for a release of all information from the third-party investigation into Baylor’s actions.

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In July, conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby said some people felt the awfulness at Baylor had “sullied” the reputation of the league. He said at the time that Baylor had been “forthcoming” with information from the scandal.

Big 12 revenues were approximately $30 million per team in 2015-16. The conference said over the summer that the league’s 10 teams would split a pot of around $304 million. If revenues rise for the 2016-17 fiscal year, Baylor will likely have at least $8 million withheld until the conference deems the appropriate steps have been taken.

In part of its statement in response to the Big 12’s actions, Baylor commended itself for the way it’s tried to make amends for the way officials had previously treated sexual assault allegations. Here’s the statement in full from interim president David Garland.

“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.

“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.

“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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