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NCAA Issues Handbook on Sexual Assault

I can't say I didn't see this coming, since there's almost weekly reports coming out about some student athlete, from some college or university, somewhere in the United States, allegedly involved in sexual abuse of some form or another. The question that remains, really, is whether or not schools are going to listen to the NCAA for once.

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Earlier this year, the NCAA made public a list of 55 member schools that were under investigation for alleged violations of Title XI, specifically schools where claims of sexual assault or harassment were made. The investigations spread across 28 states, and there are going to be more investigations in the future. I'll just list the Pac-12 schools on the list:

Arizona State University

University of California, Berkley

University of Southern California

University of Colorado

Washington State University

The list is long, and there are definitely some notable universities on the list. Simply by looking at the number of schools on this list, one can discern that sexual assault and athletes end up in the same sentence at an alarmingly high rate. Then I started paying attention to twitter a little bit more, and this is what I saw in the last week:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-cards="hidden" lang="en"><p>Preliminary Hearing for former UT Football players charged with sexual assault <a href=""></a> <a href="">#austin</a> <a href="">#news</a></p>&mdash; FOX 7 Austin (@foxaustin) <a href="">September 2, 2014</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-cards="hidden" lang="en"><p>Lawsuit Claims High School Football Coaches Encouraged Hazing, Sexual Assault <a href="">#law</a>  <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Bromagen &amp; Rathet (@bromagenlaw) <a href="">August 31, 2014</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-cards="hidden" lang="en"><p>Grand jury declines to indict former Brown University football players on sexual assault accusations <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; John F.Vervoort (@BRONXTHRUEXP) <a href="">August 27, 2014</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-cards="hidden" lang="en"><p>Ex-Wisconsin recruit gets year in jail for assault: A former University of Wisconsin football recruit has been... <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; College Football (@College_FB) <a href="">August 26, 2014</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-cards="hidden" lang="en"><p><a href="">#CDCwhistleblower</a> Crazy <a href=""></a> So not ok, more important to report on sexual assault w/football players... wtf</p>&mdash; Kimi (@KimiJoyc) <a href="">August 29, 2014</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>&quot;A Georgia high school covered up a star football player&#39;s sexual assault and harassment of a mentally... <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Nancy Lynne Kanter (@_BeautyIsInside) <a href="">August 31, 2014</a></blockquote>
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New broke an hour ago that the NCAA has recently issued a handbook to its member schools. This handbook, titled "Addressing Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence: Athletics' Role in Support of Healthy and Safe Campuses," is aimed at educating athletic departments, coaches and student athletes about the wrongs of sexual assault and any of it's various forms.


It's not news to anyone that schools have covered up sexual assault in the past. Kudos to the NCAA for finally getting out some guidelines. Heck, it's only 2014 ... on the same token, later is better than never. The reactionary nature of the NCAA is once again being put into the spotlight, and its reputation for enforcing rules and guidelines is far from being stellar.

I can't predict the future, but I have a hard time believing that universities are going to buy into anything that is shoved down their collective throats by the NCAA. They've given resistance in the past, and I expect some kind of resistance in the future.

Enough said.

Sexual assault is bad, and it needs to be curbed, yesterday. However, I doubt that some guidelines from the powers that be are going to be the catalyst. I really hope that the catalyst isn't a series of deadly assaults. The change has to start with the Universities. There needs to be a serious culture change across the country, and it needs to take place at the high school and professional level as well.

The lives of the victims need to be placed in a much higher priority than a W on the field or the court. but until that happens, I suspect we'll continue to see news like this on a weekly basis. Athletic departments in the power 5 conferences have millions and millions of dollars. Maybe some of it should be spent on education programs instead of coaching or facilities.

The guidelines are a start. But they better just be the beginning.