Sports Briefs

June 24, 2011

PJ3 to return for sophomore season

Despite much talk that he could be one of the first five players selected in this year's NBA draft, freshman all-American Perry Jones III announced in mid-April that he would return to Baylor for his sophomore season.

At the end of a strong rookie campaign in which he finished second on the team in scoring and rebounding, Jones was ruled ineligible by the NCAA for pre-enrollment benefits just hours before the Bears' first game of the Big 12 tournament. Baylor's appeals were denied, and without Jones, Baylor missed out on even an NIT selection. The punishment led columnists from media outlets such as and The New York Times to question the NCAA's ruling, as the swift and severe action seemed inconsistent with other recent high-profile cases.

The suspension was later announced as a six-game penalty, meaning Jones will miss the Bears' first five games this fall.

Big 12 and Fox Sports sign 'landmark' TV contract

Less than a year after appearing to be on its deathbed, the Big 12 Conference in mid-April signed a 13-year deal with Fox Sports that reportedly more than quadruples the Big 12's annual television revenue.

Beginning in 2012, Fox will carry a minimum of 40 Big 12 football games a year -- nearly double the current number -- on FSN, FX and Fox College Sports. That means every Big 12 home football game will be televised on ABC, a Fox network or by institutional platforms. Fox also will broadcast a minimum of 40 other Big 12 events, from women's basketball to conference championship events in a variety of sports; the league's current agreement with ABC/ESPN for over-the-air football and men's basketball rights remains in place through 2015-16.

Women's golf coach Ferdon retires

After 17 years leading the Baylor's women's golf program, head coach Sylvia Ferdon announced her retirement at the end of the 2010-11 season.

A two-time Big 12 Coach of the Year selection, Ferdon led Baylor to 10 NCAA Regional appearances in the last 12 seasons, including the program's first-ever NCAA Championship berth in 2004, where it finished 19th. Baylor golfers also excelled in the classroom under Ferdon's watch, as the program received 2009 and 2010 public recognition awards from the NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program for having an Academic Progress Rates (APR) score which ranked among the top 10 percent within its sport.