The Baylor football program might be moving in an improved direction under the leadership of young head coach Matt Rhule (even with an active member of his staff facing an arrest), but its past will not and should not be forgotten. During Art Briles’ tenure at the helm, the Bears came under scrutiny for mishandling of various off-field activities, headlined by sexual assault claims, and the Big 12 is now stepping in to take action.
In the aftermath of explosive details alleging a horrifying number of crimes committed by Baylor players from 2011 through 2014, the conference “voted unanimously to withhold one-quarter (25 percent) of future revenue distribution payments” to the university on Wednesday. The official release from the Big 12 indicates that the policy will undergo third-party review, but this is swift and decisive action that makes it clear that Baylor’s past misgivings won’t go unpunished.
As part of the release, Oklahoma president and Big 12 Conference Board of Directors chairman David Boren said the following:
“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.”
Taking away money from Baylor is a good way to both punish and keep the university in check moving forward. Whether is has the intended effect remains to be seen but, at the very least, something is being done at the conference level.