By Cristhian Plasencia/Asst. Sports Director
The NCAA’s Board of Governors decided to adopt policy geared towards preventing sexual violence on Aug. 8, 2017, after serious allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against the Baylor University’s football team.
The allegations were made following the conviction of former players Sam Ukwuachu and Tevin Elliot of sexual assault, along with other players who were claimed to have committed sexual misconduct in Sept. 2015.
This led to the university to commission a law firm, Pepper Hamilton LLP, to conduct an independent external investigation. Throughout the investigation, the law firm was shocked by number of allegations made of gang rapes and the number of incidents.
As the investigation proceeded, the law firm became even more surprised about how the university handled each situation. On numerous occasions, victims revealed that they had told someone about what occurred, but nothing ever followed through.
At the conclusion of the investigation, Pepper Hamilton LLP concluded that several.
Baylor officials were aware of the incidents, however never followed up with disciplinary action.
Former Baylor president, Ken Starr, was asked to step down following the allegations made against the university by the Baylor Board of Regents.
“I didn’t know about what was happening, but I have to, and I willingly do accept responsibility,” said Starr during a press conference. “The captain goes down with the ship.”
Richard Willis, the chair of the Baylor Board of Regents, announced in a press conference that the university was “horrified by the extent of the acts of sexual violence on our campus.”
Alongside the former president, Art Briles, the former head coach for the Baylor football program was also fired. Briles served as the Bear’s head coach from 2008 through 2015.
Baylor’s Board of Regents responded with a court filing, mentioning a student’s report of gang rape, stating there was no evidence of the report being released to any university officials outside the athletic department.
During April of 2017, Indiana University created a policy to disqualify freshmen and transfer students from being recruited who have been convicted of sexual violence, a felony, or pleaded to accepting a conviction without admitting guilt.
With FIU being one of the NCAA’s 1,123 schools, the university must also follow the new policy.
Under the policy, FIU’s president, athletics director and Title IX coordinator must confirm each year that the university’s student-athletes and their athletic administrators are educated on the prevention of sexual violence.
Jayma Meyer, a civil rights lawyer and faculty member of Indiana’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, described sexual violence as a crisis within college athletics, and believes the NCAA is in a position to address the crisis.
In her academic work titled “It’s On The NCAA: A Playbook For Eliminating Sexual Assault,” she proposes rules for the organization.
“It is unquestionably the best-placed institution to bring a consistent, fair and informed solution to bear on this problem nationally,” writes Meyer.
Anzela Vanegas, a senior majoring in broadcast media at FIU, believes that society, as a whole should be educated on sexual assault prevention.
“I think that it is something that all organizations, of any kind, should add to their policy, because of all the cases that have been published in the last couple of months,” said the senior. “Also, to educate people of what sexual assault is, and to be aware of this situation.”