WACO — The Big 12 Board of Directors announced Tuesday its Verification Team had determined Baylor University completed and implemented the 105 recommendations made in the Pepper Hamilton report. The recommendations were made back in 2016 in response to reports of sexual assaults and interpersonal violence on Baylor's campus.
As a result of the announcement, the Big 12 said the University must reimburse the conference approximately $1.6 million for the legal costs associated with the Verification process.
The remaining $12.6 million the conference had withheld from Baylor's revenue distribution will be invested for 48 months. Net earnings on the investments will be divided evenly among the ten members of the conference, according to the Big 12.
Conference officials said the money will be used to fund campus-wide and athletics prevention efforts 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.
After the 48-month period the Board will determine how much will be returned to Baylor minus a $2 million fine for reputational damage to the Conference and its members, according to the Big 12.
“On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I want to thank Baylor president Linda Livingstone, athletics director Mack Rhoades, and their staffs for their cooperation during this Verification Process,” said Big 12 Board of Directors chairman, and West Virginia University president Gordon Gee. “We are in full support of Baylor leadership and have confidence they are moving the university forward from this chapter”
In a statement on Baylor's website, University President Linda Livingstone wrote this was the second external verification of the university's completion of the 105 recommendations.
"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," Livingstone wrote.
Baylor hired Pepper Hamilton in 2015 to investigate its handling of sexual assaults. It came after former Baylor football player, Sam Ukwuachu, was convicted of sexual assaulting a student in 2013.
After presenting its findings, Head Coach Art Briles was fired, along with Athletic Director Ian McCaw and former President and Chancellor Ken Starr.