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The Bears’ football team will not face sweeping sanctions by the NCAA.

Staff photo— Jerry Larson

The NCAA has notified Baylor that it won’t exert its executive authority to impose sweeping sanctions for broad institutional failings in the wake of the university’s sexual assault scandal, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The NCAA won’t bring the hammer down on the Baylor football program the way it did in Penn State’s child molestation case involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, sources familiar with the matter told the WSJ.

The NCAA hit Penn State with a four-year bowl ban and scholarship reductions in 2012, and the school agreed to pay $60 million to fight child abuse. Sandusky was convicted of abusing boys over a 15-year period. Penn State only had to serve a two-year bowl ban after the NCAA reduced the penalty in 2014.

However, the WSJ reported that Baylor still faces a more narrow NCAA probe, and the investigation will likely focus on whether Baylor athletes received preferential treatment through the school’s disciplinary process.

An NCAA spokesperson told the Tribune-Herald: “Due to rules put in our place by our members, we cannot comment on current, pending or potential investigations.”

Former Baylor President Ken Starr, football coach Art Briles and athletic director Ian McCaw were all gone from the university after the Pepper Hamilton report detailing findings in the sexual assault scandal was released May 26.

The Baylor board of regents has been heavily criticized by many alumni for its actions and lack of transparency following the release of the Pepper Hamilton report.

On Thursday, a group of alumni that includes some of the school’s biggest donors will host a rally at the Texas Ranger Museum to discuss potential change in leadership structure at Baylor.

The group called Bears for Leadership Reform is demanding greater transparency, accountability and wholesale reform of the Baylor board of regents in an effort to restore unity and trust with the university’s supporters.

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