Sexual Violence and Collegiate Athletes

Samantha Reilly


This research examines the regulations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), along with the prevailing attitudes and sometimes-selective enforcement of the regulations in cases of collegiate athletes accused of committing acts of sexual violence. The statistics of sexual violence at colleges and universities are quite alarming in general, and when looked at further, it is shown that in many cases, the alleged attacker is often a varsity athlete. Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex, in education programs receiving federal funding, including sexual violence and sexual conduct, which creates a hostile learning environment. In April of 2011, the U.S. Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” informing all education programs receiving federal funding of their requirements under Title IX, to respond promptly and adequately to any complaint of sexual violence. In spite of these regulations, the violations continue. This paper examines cases where the educational institution's selective enforcement of Title IX in cases of sexual violence has resulted in the rights of the attacker being held to a higher priority of those of the victim. The universities have instead focused on avoiding scandal and on protecting their own image to preserve funding for the college and in some cases scholarships and continued education for the attacker, with no recognition of the negative effects on the victim. 100,000 students will be sexually assaulted within the next year if something does not change within the judicial system and the institutions of higher education. Clearly, laws and regulations have not worked. The administrators of these institutions must look more deeply into their own value systems and fairly apply the laws as they are written.


Sexual Violence, Title IX, College Athletics

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