Brenda Tracy, who claims she was the victim of a gang rape that included two Oregon State football players in 1998, is scheduled to meet Wednesday with Mike Riley, the Oregon State coach at the time who is now the head coach at Nebraska. Tracy also will speak to the Nebraska football team.
Tracy says she doesn’t “want to be angry anymore” and added meeting with Riley and the Nebraska team is her way of “paying homage” to Emily Doe, the unidentified victim of the alleged rape by a Stanford swimmer who read a moving letter of her ordeal in court that has since gone viral. Tracy also wants to support “the thousands of victims who have been victimized by athletes, coaches, athletic departments, athletic directors and universities,” according to a letter she recently wrote to The Oregonian.
“And as I meet coach Mike Riley face to face for the first time and as the fear and the tears well up inside me ... I will think of my brothers and my sisters who have been sexually violated and betrayed,” Tracy wrote. “I will draw strength from all of them. I will carry their voices and their stories with me.”
Tracy’s son, Darius Adams, wrote a letter to the NCAA asking the association to ban violent athletes from playing intercollegiate athletics. The letter, which first appeared in The Huffington Post last month, is now a petition on Change.org titled “Dear NCAA: My Mom Is a Rape Survivor and You Can Help” that has more than 133,000 signatures, about 16,000 shy of its goal.
Tracy came forward with her allegation in 2014 to The Oregonian. The alleged sexual assault involved four men. The two men who were on the Oregon State football team were placed on probation and received 25 hours of community service. Riley gave them a one-game suspension.
“I know that the police threw away her rape kit and the DA lied to her about her case,” Adams claims in the letter and petition. “I know that Oregon State cared more about football and money than my mom. I know that my mom wanted to kill herself, and I know that she almost did. And all because other people decided that football, money and reputation was more important than me and my brother having a mother.”
Adams acknowledged the recent rape scandal at Baylor and added, “Nothing has changed,” and, “Schools are still more worried about money and football than people’s lives.”
“I’m a grown man now,” wrote Adams, who played basketball last year at Tacoma (Wash.) Community College. “I would never hurt a woman that way and I know that most men wouldn’t. Why are we protecting this small group of men? Why are we allowing them to destroy people’s lives? All of these victims have families and they get hurt too. I’m still dealing with what happened to my mom.”
The NCAA wrote Adams a letter on June 10, outlining its recent efforts regarding sexual violence, adding, “We are constantly evolving and finding additional ways to address this societal issue.” The NCAA also said it will discuss the issue at its Board of Governors meeting in August but declined to say whether it would push the “power five” conferences to adopt any specific rules about banning players.
“We believe that every one of our member institutions should have a plan and protocols in place to deal with these issues and will work to make certain that those plans are in place and effective,” the NCAA wrote in its letter.