November 20, 2017

November 20, 2017

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Eight United States Senators Implore NCAA to Adopt ‘Uniform Policy’ on Sexual Assault

On the heels of the NCAA’s Board of Governor’s recent policy announcement requiring college coaches, athletics administrators and student-athletes to be educated in sexual violence prevention, eight United States Senators have forwarded a letter to the NCAA’s Commission to Combat Campus Sexual Violence.

The letter from Richard Blumenthal, Robert Casey, Jr., Al Franken, Kirsten Gillibrand, Margaret Hassan, Jeffrey Merkley, Patty Murray, and Ron Wyden

requests that the NCAA develop a “uniform policy” to formally address all prospective and current student-athletes possessing a history of sexual violence to protect all students, regardless of what college they attend.

The Senators’ letter addressed the “alarming rate” of sexual violence on college campuses.

While they recognized the challenges that NCAA member conferences and colleges face to balance student-athlete accountability, they emphasized ensuring that all students are safe on campus.

The letter acknowledged the specific steps taken by the Pac-12 conference and the University of Oregon to restrict transfer student-athletes from receiving athletic aid and participating as a student-athlete if they are unable to re-enroll at the previous school they attended because of prior misconduct while attending that prior school.

The Senators also commended Indiana University for creating a policy that makes all potential student-athletes subject to a policy that makes any athlete who previously had been convicted or pled guilty to a sexual violence felony or been held responsible for sexual violence by any university’s formal discipline policy ineligible for any athletic aid and intercollegiate competition. The Indiana University policy is believed to be the first Power Five conference school enactment to formerly ban student-athletes for sexual violence.

The NCAA has not issued a formal public response to the Senators’ letter.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2017

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About this Author

Gregg E. Clifton, Collegiate Sports Attorney, Jackson Lewis, disciplinary hearings Lawyer
Office Managing Principal

Gregg E. Clifton is Office Managing Principal of the Phoenix, Arizona, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is Co-Leader of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group and serves as one of the editors of the firm’s sports law blog.

Mr. Clifton has extensive experience in the collegiate and professional sports world. He has advised numerous professional franchises on general labor and employment issues, including Title III ADA regulatory compliance and wage and hour issues. He serves as lead counsel for several Major...

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