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Breaking Down the Big 12’s Announcement on Baylor’s Revenue

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We’re going to be okay

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Day Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 released this announcement earlier today:

The Big 12 Board of Directors announced the conclusion of its Baylor University Verification Process and unanimously accepted and adopted the independent verification report regarding Baylor’s return to compliance with Big 12 Conference Bylaws.

As stated in the Verification Report, ”The Verification Team is of the opinion that Baylor has in all material respects structurally completed and practically implemented the (105 Pepper Hamilton) Recommendations as of the date hereof. Whether the recommendations that require future action or are aspirational in nature will continue to be implemented in a sustainable manner will only be verifiable over time.”

To date, the Big 12 Conference has withheld $14,255,000 from Baylor’s revenue distribution. From the amount currently withheld, Baylor will immediately reimburse the Conference for its legal costs associated with the Verification - currently $1,651,000. The approximately $12.6 million remaining will be invested for the next 48 months. Net earnings realized on the investments will be distributed in equal portions to the 10 members of the Conference on an annual basis and will be used in funding campus-wide and athletics prevention efforts focused on sexual and gender-based harassment and violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking, including, but not limited to, programming addressing healthy relationships, LGBTQ+ discrimination, and bystander awareness. At the end of the 48-month period the Board will determine the amount to be returned to Baylor minus a $2,000,000 fine for reputational damage to the Conference and its members. The Board action immediately returns Baylor to full participation in future Conference revenue distributions.

President Linda Livingstone sent this email to students and alumni in response:

Dear Baylor Family:

I am pleased to report that the Big 12 Conference has completed its Verification Review of Baylor University’s 105 recommendations in response to past reports of sexual assault and interpersonal violence within our campus community and has confirmed all recommendations as complete and implemented. Additionally, the Big 12 has affirmed Baylor’s compliance with all relevant conference bylaws and the University’s receipt of full league financial distributions moving forward.

This is now the second external verification of our completion of the 105 recommendations, which have already helped the University prevent and respond to reports of sexual assault and interpersonal violence on our campus. We know that this is a very important issue, not only for Baylor, but for each of our Big 12 member institutions and other colleges and universities nationwide.

The comprehensive report of the Big 12’s Oversight Committee is publicly available at Big 12 Board of Directors Conclude Baylor Verification Process, along with the resolution approved Monday by the conference’s presidents and chancellors.

Today’s announcement provides another testament to Baylor’s unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff through our training, education and response efforts within a caring community. It also underscores Baylor’s strength and resilience as we continue on our path to becoming the preeminent Christian research university and competing at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics.

We look forward to communicating with you again later this week as we prepare for Homecoming and the launch of Give Light.

Sincerely,

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

President

She also joined David Smoak of ESPN 1660:

There are a few reactions to this. Some are upset that Baylor is paying a $2 million fine and not getting back the withheld revenue immediately or possibly at all. Just this week Bob Bowlsby mentioned that TCU’s handling of the suspension of Kavontae Turpin was an institutional matter. That rubbed a lot of Baylor folks the wrong way.

But Baylor is going to be fine. The Big 12 has recognized Baylor has followed through on 105 recommendations. The school is planning to push ahead with major renovations and pays their coaches top salaries. We’ve survived a review by competitive universities, and they’ve found that Baylor is on the right track. The School is in a much better place with those 105 recommendations in place.

People can get mad about whatever they want to be worked up about. But we’re going to be okay. This decision has almost no impact on Baylor’s financial ability or athletic programs. Really, we’re going to be okay.