A new policy instituted by Indiana University bars athletes with a history of domestic or sexual violence from participating in the university’s athletics programs.
The IndyStar reports that the policy prohibits “any prospective student-athlete — whether a transfer student, incoming freshman or other status — who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence.”
Indiana University athletic director Fred Glass said that the policy change is important to “help protect members of the Indiana University community.”
The policy, which can be viewed here, defines sexual violence as “dating violence, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, or sexual violence as defined by the Indiana University Policy on Sexual Misconduct.”
As high-profile athletics programs around the country grapple with their own sexual misconduct issues, some collegiate-level programs have taken steps to insulate themselves from these problems. A 2015 policy instituted by the Southeastern Conference prohibits member schools from allowing athletic transfers with a history of “serious misconduct,” such as sexual assault, domestic assault or other forms of sexual violence, to enroll. Indiana’s policy goes a step further than the SEC’s, as it blocks not only transfers, but incoming freshmen as well.
“The SEC, with their transfer ban, I think raised the issue generally,” Glass said. “We’ve been working on that since that time, trying to put something together that makes sense for Indiana University.”
The policy was approved by the school’s Faculty Athletics Committee, after getting input from other campus groups, including the Office of Student Welfare and Title IX. It will include an appellate process, but in the case of an appeal, the case would go before an independent committee comprised of people from outside the athletic department.
“My hope is that we’re leading in this area,” Glass said.