Report: Baylor won't receive Penn State-like sanctions from NCAA

How the NCAA ultimately responds to Baylor's sexual assault scandal is yet to be determined. However, it appears the university won't receive heavy sanctions resembling the ones initially handed to Penn State four years ago.

The Wall Street Journal reports the NCAA "won't exert its executive authority to impose sweeping sanctions against the school for broad institutional failings, and will instead follow its normal investigative process."

The program is still subject to an NCAA probe, the crux of which involves answering whether Baylor athletes "received preferential treatment through the school's disciplinary process." That, according to the paper, could be considered an impermissible benefit under NCAA rules.

As a criminal matter first and foremost, Baylor's situation more closely mirrors the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State rather than violations solely based in academics and/or athletics. Those fall directly in the NCAA's jurisdiction.

However, the NCAA took unprecedented steps when it pressured Penn State to vacate 111 wins under former coach Joe Paterno, accept a bowl ban, reduce the number of football scholarships and agree to pay a $60 million fine as a result of the child-sex abuse scandal.

The Penn State case set a potential precedence for the NCAA's involvement in Baylor, but many of the sanctions levied against the Nittany Lions were eventually lifted. It would stand to reason that's largely why the NCAA isn't aggressively trying to take such action again.

Baylor is not done with the NCAA, though, as the probe may "continue for months." There are also the ongoing legal issues the university is facing in the form of Title IX lawsuits and the recent push by alumni to create the Bears for Leadership Reform. The non-profit -- featuring Drayton McLane, for whom the football stadium is named -- aims for greater transparency in the midst of the scandal.

On the field, Baylor has lost two straight games, the most recent being a 62-22 blowout at the hands of TCU. In the days leading up to the game, Baylor assistant coaches signed a statement defending their program and former coach Art Briles, who was fired in the fallout of the sexual assault allegations. After the loss to TCU, acting coach Jim Grobe said, "I just think that if you get too caught up in making statements, you play terrible. And that's what happened."

As for the future, Baylor has just two recruits for the 2017 class, ranking 136th nationally according to 247Sports. There are still a few months before signing day, but that's an absurdly small number.

The point being, the NCAA's probe into the program may not be close to Baylor's biggest concern.

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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