August 11, 2021
Dear Baylor Family:
Since our University was first chartered in 1845, we have strived in every possible way to stay true to our Christian mission and to live by our core convictions, including a commitment to support, encourage and expect excellence in all undertakings. Excellence is our expectation at Baylor in all aspects of our University, yet excellence must also come with virtue and integrity.
Today, Baylor University received the NCAA Committee on Infractions’ Public Infractions Decision. This is the final step in a more than five-year, cooperative enforcement process that began in 2016. The Committee on Infractions hearing panel could not conclude that Baylor violated NCAA rules when some employees failed to report allegations of and address sexual and interpersonal violence committed on our campus. As part of the NCAA process, the University acknowledged its significant and moral failings related to sexual and interpersonal violence, and we sincerely regret the actions of a few individuals caused harm to so many. We must remember that the prospect of NCAA penalties pales in comparison to the suffering of the survivors of such horrific assaults.
The NCAA committee did find the University had violated NCAA rules related to impermissible benefits for a student-athlete, the use of a student-host group as impermissible recruiters of student-athletes, and the failure of a former assistant director of football operations to participate in the NCAA investigation process. The NCAA committee classified the case as Level II-standard for the school and Level I-standard for the former assistant director of football operations.
The committee used the Division I membership-approved infractions penalty guidelines to prescribe the following measures:
- Four years of probation.
- A $5,000 fine.
- A reduction to 30 football official visits during the 2021-22 academic year.
- A three-week ban on unofficial visits in football during the 2021-22 academic year.
- A two-week ban on football recruiting communication during the 2021-22 academic year.
- A reduction of football evaluation days by three during fall 2021 and by 10 during spring 2022.
- A five-year show-cause order for the former assistant director of football operations. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must restrict him from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.
- A vacation of all records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible in the 2011 season. The University must provide a written report containing the contests impacted to the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff within 14 days of the public release of the decision.
The University agrees with the enforcement staff and the Committee on Infractions that violations did occur, and we take full responsibility. Our internal and external legal teams will review the full report and the University will decide on its next steps, if any. A detailed timeline of Baylor’s NCAA process since 2016 can be found at ncaa.web.baylor.edu/timeline.
Baylor is a proud member of the NCAA and of the Big 12 Conference and is committed to sportsmanship, integrity and following the rules. A key aspect of our current University strategic plan is to provide a transformational education for our students: “At Baylor, learning is more than just what happens in the classroom.” That same principle applies to our growth as a University, as we must learn from our mistakes. While the NCAA process found violations that occurred between 2011 and 2016, we can confidently say Baylor is a much different University today than it was three, five and certainly 10 years ago. We appreciate the NCAA committee’s recognition of the University’s swift and wide-ranging response several years ago, which demonstrated Baylor’s dedication to functioning with integrity, fostering a culture of compliance, and ensuring a commitment to institutional control. We made key personnel transitions in a variety of roles across campus, not solely in Athletics. We implemented a new culture in Athletics and campuswide. We identified and implemented best practices in Title IX policies and procedures. And we demand an ongoing adherence to ethics and accountability from each and every employee.
While today is an important reminder for our University, we are confident in a bright future for Baylor based on integrity and excellence.
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
Mack B. Rhoades, IV
Vice President and Director of Athletics
Baylor proactively initiated contact with the NCAA regarding potential violations on May 25, 2016, and appeared before the NCAA Committee on Infractions Dec. 14-15, 2020.
President Livingstone and Vice President and Director of Athletics Rhoades meet with the media.