-- DALLAS -- After a two-hour meeting with Baylor officials on Tuesday, Big 12 officials said they are satisfied that the university's administration is being transparent about its sexual assault scandal, and that the school is committed to being Title IX compliant in the future.
Baylor interim president David Garland, Baylor board of regents chairman Ronald Murff and regent David Harper met with the Big 12 board of directors on Tuesday to discuss the school's handling of the sexual assault crisis.
"Questions and answers were received, and I would say we were very pleased," said Oklahoma president David Boren, chairman of the Big 12 board of directors. "Overall, I would say they were very forthcoming today, and [have made a] strong commitment to the changes that are necessary to make a basic change in the culture on the campus and to have all of their students feel protected."
Until Tuesday's meeting, Big 12 officials had become increasingly concerned that Baylor officials had declined their requests for more information about the scandal. On June 22, the Big 12 issued a public statement demanding specifics of Baylor's sexual assault investigations, including the full Pepper Hamilton report, and made a point of noting that this was the second time the conference had to ask.
The first request was a letter to then-president Kenneth Starr on May 24, two days before Baylor publicly released the law firm's report summary and announced the fates of Starr, athletic director Ian McCaw and football coach Art Briles, who were either fired or resigned in the past several weeks.
Baylor officials told Big 12 presidents on Tuesday that the school doesn't have a full written report from Pepper Hamilton, the Philadelphia law firm it hired last fall to examine the way it handled allegations of sexual assault, and that releasing a written report would violate federal law protecting student privacy.
"We got some insight as to how the process unfolded and why it unfolded that way," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. "I suppose that it's easy to assert that they requested an oral presentation."
Bowlsby told reporters on Monday that the league might eventually weigh whether to sanction the Bears for their misconduct. Although Big 12 bylaws don't specifically address the Baylor situation, the conference could potentially ban the Bears from postseason play or impose other sanctions.
Baylor officials also contacted NCAA enforcement staff about potential rules violations shortly after receiving the Pepper Hamilton report.
"We wanted to make sure that the institution has the appropriate elements of control going forward and that includes a very robust Title IX process, separate and apart from the athletics department," Boren said.
Overall, Bowlsby said he was satisfied with the progress Baylor has made.
"They've quadrupled the amount of spending on Title IX compliance," Bowlsby said. "They've doubled the number of counselors that they have on their campus. In a relatively short period of time they've made some remarkable progress."