In the wake of a series of sexual assault allegations, college athletes, coaches and athletics administrators at NCAA member schools must now complete annual sexual violence prevention education.
That’s according to a new policy adopted by the NCAA Board of Governors after the high-profile scandals involving college athletes, including rape accusations against Baylor University football players that led to the removal of the university president.
Campus leaders, such as the school president and athletic director, “must attest annually that coaches, athletics administrators and student-athletes were educated in sexual violence prevention,” according to the NCAA.
The leaders from each of the 1,123 member campuses must declare that the athletics department is knowledgeable in the school’s sexual violence policies and prepared to respond to acts of sexual violence.
The school’s sexual violence policies must be “readily available” to the athletics department and given to each student athlete.
The NCAA adopted the new policy after a recommendation from a committee tasked with proposing solutions to campus sexual violence issues.
According to The Associated Press, “the NCAA policy does not delve into bans, restrictions or punishments for athletes who commit sexual violence, deferring to schools to set and follow their own policies.”
In a statement to NPR, the organization said, “Any discussion of individual accountability beyond the criminal justice system must address the complexities and nuances of different federal and state laws so that it can be consistently applied across the NCAA.”
Just yesterday, as the wire service reported, “Youngstown State decided that a football player who served jail time for a rape committed while he was in high school will not be allowed to play in games this season.”
A federal lawsuit accuses a group of Baylor football players of gang-raping a young woman in 2012 as part of team bonding ritual, NPR’s Camila Domonoske reported. In the lawsuit, “Jane Doe” accuses the school of a “deliberately indifferent response.” The Big 12 Conference imposed a multi-million dollar sanction on the school after revelations of multiple alleged assaults.
Also on Thursday, the NCAA board created four new task forces to look into issues of mental health, football practice strategies, pain management and wearable technologies.