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Big 12 to withhold millions of dollars from Baylor until post-scandal measures verified

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The conference is punishing Baylor, for now.

Baylor v Buffalo Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The Big 12 announced Wednesday that it will be keeping 25 percent of the conference revenue distribution Baylor is entitled to until it can verify via a third party that the Bears have indeed restructured their athletic program procedures and governance after the sexual assault scandal involving the football program.

In 2016, Big 12 schools each got $30.4 million from the conference, a slice of the $304 million pie that had jumped significantly from 2015.

The withholding measure was voted on by the other nine Big 12 schools. In a statement released by Baylor, president David Garland said that this is an opportunity for Baylor to show that they have in fact made worthwhile changes:

“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.”

As far as NCAA involvement goes, this remains likely out of the organization’s jurisdiction.

The NCAA designed itself to maintain its guidelines on athletic amateurism, not to serve as law enforcement. It has no legal subpoena power, and its investigations into academics and eligibility — issues that don’t even involve victims of crime — often stretch on for years at a time, as North Carolina and Ole Miss demonstrate.

A probe into Baylor is still ongoing by the NCAA, however. It seeks to find any evidence of preferential treatment of athletes. And if a recent lawsuit filed alleging, among other things, that on-campus hostesses were used to have sex with recruits, it would certainly fall within NCAA jurisdiction.

On Friday, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said at a a board meeting that Baylor “just continues to ooze.” He then told ESPN that in regards to Baylor, "I think everybody's pretty much in the barrel, but I don't know if anybody knows where the bottom of the barrel is."