All On Georgia

NCAA adopts sexual violence policy, emphasizing education

NCAA member schools will be required to provide sexual violence education for all college athletes, coaches and athletics administrators under a police announced Thursday by the organization’s board of governors.

Campus leaders such as athletic directors and school presidents will be required to attest that athletes, coaches and administrators have been educated on sexual violence each year. The move follows a number of high-profile assault cases, including Baylor.

The policy also requires campus leaders to declare that athletic departments are knowledgeable and compliant with school policies on sexual violence prevention, adjudication and resolution. School policies on sexual violence and the name and contact information of the Title IX coordinator must be distributed throughout the athletic department and to all athletes.

The policy was adopted from a recommendation made by the Commission to Combat Campus Sexual Violence, which was created by the board last year.

The announcement from the NCAA came just one day after 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. Ma’Lik Richmond , who served about 10 months in a juvenile lockup after being convicted with another Steubenville High School football player of raping a 16-year-old girl in 2012, walked on at Youngstown State earlier this year. He will be allowed to practice and participate in other team activities.

A move toward NCAA policy on sexual violence was given momentum by numerous high-profile cases involving athletes and athletic departments in recent years, most notably the scandal at Baylor that led to the ouster of head coach Art Briles and the departure of the university’s athletic director and president. An investigation by a law firm hired by Baylor found that allegations of sexual assault, some against football players, were mishandled by the school.

Two years ago, the Southeastern Conference barred schools from accepting transfers who had been dismissed from other schools for serious misconduct, defined as sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence.

Indiana announced in April that it would no longer accept any prospective student-athlete who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence. In July, the athletic director at the University of Illinois said the school was working on a similar policy.

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.