The NCAA’s board of governors has passed a new protocol for athletic departments to follow when dealing with allegations of sexual assault.
The sanctioning body said that school leaders including the president, athletic director and Title IX coordinator must “attest” annually that its athletic department staff and athletes have undergone sexual violence prevention education. Additionally, the NCAA said athletic departments must do the following:
The school’s athletics department is knowledgeable about, integrated in, and compliant with institutional policies and processes regarding sexual violence prevention and proper adjudication and resolution of acts of sexual violence.
The school’s policies regarding sexual violence prevention and adjudication — plus the name and contact information for the campus Title IX coordinator — are readily available in the athletics department and are distributed to student-athletes.
These changes come as Baylor has taken steps to rectify its massive shortcomings in dealing with sexual assault. While the problem of sexual assault is one across college campuses all over the country, Baylor didn’t have a full-time Title IX coordinator until 2014 among other ways it inappropriately handled accusations of sexual assault at the school.
The former coordinator has also alleged that former Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw — now the athletic director at Liberty University — asked her in an early 2015 meeting if she could give “immunity” to then-current football players while investigating accusations of sexual assault.
After three Michigan State players were suspended for sexual assault allegations in January, the school set up an independent investigation into the athletic department’s handling of the allegations much like Baylor did in 2015.
Unlike Baylor’s Pepper Hamilton investigation, which led to the firing of football coach Art Briles and the resignations of McCaw and former president Ken Starr, the Michigan State investigation found that coach Mark Dantonio and the school’s athletic department handled the allegations appropriately.
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