The Big Mac Blog

Big 12 penalty on Baylor is pointless

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby weighed in on the FBI college basketball corruption case.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby weighed in on the FBI college basketball corruption case. AP

Since no one else is going to do it, the Big 12 took Baylor into its own hands and then crushed it with a fluffy, satin-covered pillow.

On Wednesday, the Big 12 announced it’s tough on crime. By “tough” I mean it’s not. The league imposed a 25 percent reduction of future revenue distribution on Baylor in light of the rape scandal that has embarrassed the Big 12.

We are talking about a potential loss of millions and millions of dollars, with one small, tiny caveat - Baylor is still going to get this money. The money is scheduled to be placed in an escrow account; assuming Baylor is complicit with the league in improving and meeting Title IX regulations and other “standards,” the cash will be returned.

Who knows? If the stock market is thriving, maybe Baylor will make a tidy 5 to 10 percent return on their escrow “investment.”

No need to question the Big 12’s power now; the hammer of Boren and Bowlsby can indeed dent a microwaved-stick of butter.

Oklahoma president and Big 12 board of director chair David Boren said in a statement: “The Board is unified in establishing a process to verify that proper institutional controls are in place and sustainable. Effective immediately, the Conference is withholding 25 percent of Baylor’s share of any future revenue distribution until the proper execution of controls is independently verified. 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.”

Notice there is no timeline to this, or anything remotely specific.

Because the Department of Education has shown no interest in this case at Baylor, the Big 12 and the NCAA are the only governing bodies that can administer punishment. Baylor certainly isn’t.

Asking the Big 12 to be an enforcer is too much. These people sit in the same room together, eat together and socialize together. Even though Baylor wields as much power in this league as Iowa State, relationships matter. At least they get in the way.

Texas and Oklahoma run the Big 12, and while it may want to punish Baylor for this scandal, it is not going to hammer a partner.

Now, hitting a wallet always hurts, but only if the money is never returned. When walking around Baylor’s plush campus, it doesn’t look as if the school lacks funds.

The only way to penalize Baylor is to strip scholarships, reduce the number of recruiting visits from the coaches, and to keep the cash. That’s on the NCAA.

We know the Big 12 will take the cash, and then return it.

Never has being penalized felt so good.

Follow Mac Engel on Facebook