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Indiana University Will No Longer Accept Student-Athletes With Histories Of Sexual Assault Or Domestic Violence

The policy applies to both new recruits and transfers

Following countless campus scandals, college administrators are taking pains to ensure that incidents of sexual assault by student-athletes don’t mar the reputation of the school. A new policy at Indiana University seeks to manage the risk of crimes by keeping student-athletes with a history of sexual assault or domestic violence out of the school altogether.

According to the school’s athletics site:

Any prospective student-athlete— whether a transfer student, incoming freshman, or other status—who has been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence (as defined below), or has been found responsible for sexual violence by a formal institutional disciplinary action at any previous collegiate or secondary school (excluding limited discipline applied by a sports team or temporary disciplinary action during an investigation) shall not be eligible for athletically-related financial aid, practice, or competition at Indiana University.

The effort comes after a 2015 survey found that 17 percent of IU’s female respondents reported either being raped or being the victim of an attempted rape. Indiana University’s directive isn’t the first of its kind, but it is the first one to explicitly ban freshman recruits. In 2015, the SEC implemented a ban on the incoming transfer of student-athletes with similar histories.

While this would seem to be a common sense policy, college sports have displayed questionable integrity in pursuit of on-field success. Although the policy applies only to student-athletes and not to the student body in general, many scandals recently have involved cover-ups or obstruction from monied athletic departments, so addressing their recruits is a good place to start.

Recently, Indiana’s biggest scandal hasn’t come from the student body, but from the administration after the associate dean of students was accused of sexual assault.

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