PRESS RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 24, 2019
For immediate release
For more information:
Dr. B. David Ridpath, Ed.D.
The Drake Group
Kudos to Indiana University and UT San Antonio Athletic Departments for Strong Anti-Violence Policies
NEW HAVEN, CONN. –
In April of 2017, the Indiana University athletic department announced what may have been the first comprehensive policy on athlete violence. The policy banned “any prospective student-athlete – whether a transfer student, incoming freshman or other status – who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence” from participating in athletics. No other Big Ten conference member followed suit. Fully two years later, on September 17, 2019, “the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) announced the adoption of a new policy that would ban students with verified histories of violence or sexual abuse from participating in its athletic programs. Effective the fall 2019 semester, the so-called ‘Tracy Rule’ states: “A current or prospective student-athlete who has been convicted of, pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony or misdemeanor involving Serious Misconduct, has been found a delinquent in relationship to a juvenile code equivalent, or has been disciplined by the university or athletic department at any time during enrollment at any collegiate institution (excluding temporary disciplinary action during an investigation) due to Serious Misconduct shall not be eligible for athletically related financial aid, practice or competition at The University of Texas at San Antonio.”  All USTA current and prospective transfer and freshmen athletes are required to fill out a survey disclosing any past history of violence and a waiver provision does exist.
- David Ridpath, Ed.D., President of The Drake Group, commented, “The Drake Group applauds the Indiana University and UTSA athletic departments for their adoption of strong policies sending clear messages to current and prospective athletes that athletics will do their parts to ensure safe college educational environments. While several athletic conferences have acted to prohibit their member institutions from recruiting athletes dismissed from another institution for sexual assault, domestic violence, or other forms of serious misconduct, we know of no other institutions that have unilaterally adopted similar comprehensive policies. Further,we believe the NCAA has not fulfilled its responsibility to protect the health and well-being of all athletes by requiring all NCAA member institutions to adopt such a rule. The national governing association must address the issue of college athlete violence and sexual misconduct against other athletes and non-athletes.”
Ridpath continued, “For example, in 2017, a Michigan State University football player was kicked off the team after allegations surfaced that he raped a teammate’s girlfriend. In December of 2018, he was sentenced to ten years in prison after pleading to a lesser charge. The MSU head football coach had ignored warnings that this recruit had a troubling history of sexual misconduct. He was kicked off his high school team and barred from the high school campus during his senior year while facing similar allegations. MSU hired a local law firm which cleared the three MSU coaches who ignored these warnings and sought MSU special admissions status for this recruit. The NCAA has no rules to deal with such issues. It is refreshing and cause for respectful acknowledgement to recognize the responsible actions of the IU and UTSA athletic departments.”
The Drake Group, in a detailed position paper on this issue, presents many other examples that demonstrate the inability of institutions to police themselves, many times enabling such behavior by providing accused athletes with attorneys, obstructing normal student disciplinary proceedings or imposing minor game suspensions. The paper offers recommendations for NCAA and conference rules to address athlete violence. Osterman, Z. New IU policy bans athletes with history of sexual or domestic violence. IndyStar.com. April 19, 2017. Retrieve at: https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/college/indiana/2017/04/19/indiana-hoosiers-sexual-violence-athlete-ban-fred-glass/100660758/  Izbrand, J and K. Stephens. UTSA codifies zero tolerance misconduct policy for student-athletes. UTSA Today. September 17, 2019. Retrieve at: https://www.utsa.edu/today/2019/09/story/BrendyTracyRule.html  Starleaf Riker, M. and N. Talbot. UTSA announces new policy to fight sexual misconduct by student-athletes. San Antonio Express-News. September 18, 2019. Retrieve at: https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/UTSA-announces-new-policy-to-fight-sexual-14448010.php  Steinbach, Paul. (2019) Suit: MSU’s Dantonio Ignored Warnings About Recruit. Athletic Business. September 2019. Retrieve at: https://www.athleticbusiness.com/civil-actions/suit-msu-s-dantonio-ignored-warnings-about-recruit.html?bid=2525489&eid=306480847