Big 12 to dock Baylor revenue pending review of athletic changes

Posted at 9:31 AM, Feb 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-08 20:51:10-05

IRVING, Texas (AP/KXXV) - The Big 12 says it will withhold 25 percent of Baylor's share of conference revenue until an outside review of the athletic department determines whether the school is in compliance with conference regulations and Title IX guidelines following its sexual assault scandal that has rocked the school.

The estimated revenue that will be withheld is $7.5 million.

"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," Baylor Interim President David Garland added. "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"

Baylor University student Sydney Drake said the news did not come as a shock.

"I wasn't really surprised that they would take away money because of the events taking place at the university,” Drake said.

For other students like Ryan Nolen was more surprising, it took this long for the Big 12 to take some action.

"For the Big 12 to get this involved this late is kind of shocking to me,” Nolen said.

He added the actions of the Big 12 seemed fair to him.

“Baylor has made a lot of steps forward since this happened but it’s not finished. I think considering what happened with Baylor affected the Big 12 media wise. It’s definitely fair for them to do that” Nolen said.

On Wednesday, Baylor University issued a statement discussing the steps the institution has taken to improve.

“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," Garland said. 

Drake, Nolen and Elizabeth Horner who are students at Baylor said they have seen the university take steps to improve, including revamping its Title IX office and increasing counseling services for victims.

"I think Baylor has done a great job to taking steps to make our campus safer for women,” Horner said.

However, not every student feels safer.

"I myself do get worried for my safety wondering what the institution would do if something like this happened to me so I think needs to be done, more people need to be held accountable by their actions,” Drake.

Baylor University stated it will not impact academics, tuition or other components of the university.
The sanctions against Baylor are the first by the Big 12 since the school and athletic department were hit by allegations of mishandling assault cases.
Baylor fired coach Art Briles last year and parted ways with university President Ken Starr and athletic director Ian McCaw after an investigation by a law form found allegations of sexual assault brought to the school were not dealt with appropriately.
The Big 12 paid out about $30 million to each conference member last year.

The $7.5 million is just an estimate. Baylor University does not know how much money the conference is withholding at this time.

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