The NCAA investigation into Baylor University’s sexual assault scandal could end before August, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported on Wednesday, and with little consequence.
Unnamed sources close to the situation said they are not expecting to receive the “death penalty” from the NCAA. Southern Methodist University is the only school to have received it in 1987 amid a football program corruption scandal.
The sources said the school had hoped for a resolution by the spring of 2019, according to the report. A Baylor spokeswoman declined to comment, saying it is an NCAA matter.
The NCAA probe into Baylor’s response to sexual violence began shortly after May 2016, when Baylor regents fired Art Briles as head football coach and Ken Starr as president. Athletic Director Ian McCaw also resigned.
In November 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported Baylor would likely avoid sweeping sanctions. The investigation would focus on whether Baylor athletes received preferential treatment through the school’s disciplinary process, sources told the newspaper.
A request to the NCAA for comment was not immediately returned. It is NCAA policy not to comment on pending investigations.
The Big 12 is also investigating whether Baylor completed making improvements to its policies responding to sexual violence.
Gordon Gee, chairman of the Big 12’s board of directors, has said the conference is “coming close” to reaching the conclusion that Baylor implemented 105 recommendations for improvement handed down by Pepper Hamilton LLP in May 2016. An audit by the then-Pepper Hamilton attorneys have verified the completion.
“We look forward to continue working with the Big 12,” Baylor President Linda Livingstone told reporters at Big 12 spring meetings earlier this month. “I hope that others are learning from the experience we’ve had. I think if anybody looks at what we’ve done and the audit that is public, that we’ve posted on the 105, it’s a great roadmap for any other institution to look at with regards for policies and processes and procedures.”