The campus sexual assault survey administered by Senator Claire McCaskill’s office (more on the survey shortly) found that 22 percent of schools responding said that their athletic departments handle sexual assault accusations against their student-athletes.
This is obviously a problem (and I suspect that it is larger than the survey reports) as evidenced by many cases (University of Montana, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Missouri, to name a few) we hear about.
The cover-ups, of course, happen both with assaults committed by athletes and non-athletes. The survey results point to the need for every case to be handled the same way by the same committees/commissions/boards.
But the somewhat separate issue not addressed is that the cover-ups among athletic departments have lead to student-athletes being dismissed as quietly as possible–usually suspension from team and departure at the end of the semester–sometimes facing no formal sanctions from the institution. Where do they go? Some of them go to other schools and continue to play sports–and commit sexual assault.
As we wrote about earlier this summer, Brandon Austin started playing basketball at Providence College. Accused of sexual assault but not criminally charged, he transferred to Oregon after being suspended from the PC team. In June he and two of his teammates where forbidden from returning to school for ten years–again because of sexual assault charges. He has been looking at a community college in Kansas which is known for feeding basketball players to DI schools.
But as more attention is drawn to these cases, these covert transfers might become less common. One of the other suspended Oregon players had intended to go to St. John’s; but the school has decided not to recruit him.