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.