In February, the Big 12’s Board of Directors took an odd step to withhold 25 percent of the Bears’ conference revenue pending a satisfactory review of the school’s procedures following the sexual assault scandal that pushed out Art Briles, Ian McCaw and Ken Starr.
“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,” Big 12 board chairman and Oklahoma president David Boren said at the time. “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.”
Three months have passed since then, so where does that review stand?
According to Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby‘s comments at the league’s meetings in Phoenix this week, not much has been done. But there’s a reason for that.
Baylor has, of course, hired a new AD in Mack Rhoades and a new football coach in Matt Rhule, and the third key leadership post has been hired but is not yet in place. School president Linda Livingstone starts June 1. And with that in mind, the Big 12 will begin to expect answers from Baylor after Livingstone has started her new job.
Here’s what the Dallas Morning News‘ Chuck Carlton had to say from Phoenix:
The independent review is continuing into Baylor’s reforms following a sexual-assault scandal involving the football program, Bowlsby said. The Big 12 board of directors voted in February to withhold 25 percent of Baylor’s conference revenue pending its completion. Bowlsby said Baylor is working to get the most complete information to the conference, and that the hiring of new school president Linda Livingstone, who starts June 1, also played factor. “We want to let her get in the chair,” Bowlsby said. “Bringing in [athletic director] Mack Rhoades was a big step. Doing the governance review at the board level is a big step. Getting a president is a huge step. In deference to all of that, I think we probably won’t get started in any sort of substantive way until after June 1.”
Though the conference is talking tough with Baylor, it will be a major shock if the end result is anything but a thumbs up from the conference office.