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Report: BU Sexual Assault Scandal Could Cost University $223 million

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VIA KLNDONNELLY/FLICKR (CC BY 2.0)
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The sexual assault scandal at Baylor University could cost the Baptist school $223 million dollars in expenses and lost revenue, according to estimates released Tuesday by a group of alumni and donors.

The financial estimates project the school will lose nearly $101 million in lost revenue and will face as much as $122 million in expenses like settlements and Title IX compliance.

In a statement, the University said they wouldn't address BLR's financial estimates. 

"Beyond confirming Baylor University is and will continue to be strong and financially healthy, we will not respond to such speculation with any further comment," the statement reads.

Bears for Leadership Reform acquired the consulting firm HSSK for the financial analysis. BLR president John Eddie Williams – who Baylor’s football field is named for – said he hopes the financial breakdown stirs the regents into action.

“We have come forward and made our best estimate of the true cost of these events,” Williams said during a press conference. “The Board of Regents, the ball is now in their court to give us the true facts and I hope Baylor nation, Baylor family will ask for the true facts and get to the bottom of it.”

In part, HSSK looked at audit and financial statements, media reports, and used information from sexual assault settlements from other universities. They also compared information from the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State.  According to the group, Baylor University provided no information for these estimates. HSSK managing director Jared Jordan said he spent roughly three weeks compiling the data.

“We’ve estimated that the Pepper Hamilton investigation cost could approximate $5 million,” Jordan said, adding that other potential costs include $17 million in victim settlements and nearly $33 million in legal consulting and public relation costs. 

Other projected costs include nearly $25 million dollars in settlements with former employees like Art Briles, Ken Starr and former Title IX coordinator Patti Crawford.

In recent weeks, BLR – whose membership also includes former Texas Gov. Mark White and Drayton McLane – met with several regents in Dallas to request an independent investigation into the university’s administrators and regents. But during an executive session on Sunday, Baylor regents unanimously voted against a review of the Pepper Hamilton investigation into the school’s handling of sexual assault allegations.

A university press released called the report “complete, fair and accurate.”

Williams said he was “extremely disappointed” in the regents’ vote to forgo an additional investigation. But on Tuesday expressed optimism on that the financial analysis would stir transparency from the university and regents.