A Texas A&M student has gone public with the university's response to her concerns that a man found responsible for sexually assaulting her has been allowed to return to the Aggies' swimming and diving program.
In separate posts on Twitter, the woman claims the unnamed team member served a semester-long suspension and then was redshirted during the 2016-17 season.
The woman emailed A&M head coach Jay Holmes, who has led the A&M program for 14 seasons, to voice her displeasure that the athlete was reinstated. Her account, concussed hannah @hannahslol, on June 7 posted "Me: I'm unhappy the boy who r*ped me is back on the swim team." The post then included "Texas A&M:" and revealed the response to her email to Holmes attributed to Lori Williams, who served as A&M's Title IX coordinator until her promotion to senior woman administrator and a senior associate athletic director last year. That response read:
"Please allow this email serve as acknowledgment of your email to Jay Holmes and recognition of your courage and strength in expressing your concerns and opinions. Please know the Athletics Department and its employees and student-athletes fully support and adhere to the administrative processes that govern Title IX matters at Texas A&M. I regret your displeasure with the perceived impact, and I wish you all the best as you continue to seek healing. Warm regards."
Among the Twitter reaction: "@TAMU care to explain? this isn’t right and you know it isn’t, address it properly and take actual steps to give some sort of right to this incredible wrong done to your student."
In a statement released Monday afternoon and reported by The Dallas Morning News, the university said federal privacy law prevents the university from commenting on specific cases. The university also said that sexual misconduct cases are handled on a case-by-case basis. Students found responsible by the school's conduct review panel are subject to punishment, which may include suspension or dismissal.
“This is more common than many athletic departments would like to admit," Kathy Redmond, founder of the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes, told AB Today. "The case-by-base basis may very well depend on the status of the athletes involved and presents a power dynamic that is detrimental to the athletic department. There should be a process and protocol to deal with this — by athletic departments and the NCAA.”