In 2016, at the height of the ongoing sexual assault scandal engulfing the Baylor Bears football program and entire university, Texas Longhorns officials wanted Baylor out of the Big 12, according to Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman.
Those officials understood that was “wishful thinking,” as Davis put it, but officials in Waco were also concerned as commissioner Bob Bowlsby said publicly that expulsion was “not an impossibility.”
“I was worried about [Big 12] membership,” a source connected to the university told CBS Sports.
The NCAA and Big 12 are currently investigating the scandal, but Bowlsby wasn’t willing to provide much information about the Big 12 investigation on Monday:
Bob Bowlsby on Baylor scandal: "I'm not going to get into talking about the specifics of the Baylor situation. ... We've already said publicly we'll issue a written report."— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) July 16, 2018
Last year, the conference voted to withhold 25 percent of Baylor’s future revenue ”pending the outcome of third-party verification review of required changes to Baylor’s athletics procedures and to institutional governance of its intercollegiate athletics programs, among other matters.”
That’s no small amount of money — Baylor will lose over $9 million this year. The conference expects to complete its investigation in the near future.
Meanwhile, the scandal continues to play out in Waco. In June, former athletics director Ian McCaw claimed in a deposition that the Findings of Fact compiled by law firm Pepper Hamilton was a “phony” document, but that wasn’t even his most explosive accusation.
According to McCaw, the school devised “an elaborate plan that essentially scapegoated black football players and the football program for being responsible for what was a decades-long, university-wide sexual assault scandal.”
McCaw said that the university’s limited endowment made it heavily reliant on tuition revenue, which in turn contributed to the creation of what he considers the false report from Pepper Hamilton.
On Friday, Baylor also settled another Title IX lawsuit, now at least the eighth settlement associated with that scandal to be paid out by the school. The lawsuit alleged that a former volleyball player was gang raped by four football players in 2012 after being drugged. Gang rape was allegedly so common on the football team that it was used as a bonding experience by players.
Now Baylor will continue participating in Big 12 athletics while it awaits the conclusion of those two investigations, all while it tries to convince observers that it is fixing the university’s widespread sexual assault issues.