Indiana University is stepping up to the plate and serving as the go-to example of morality for all colleges, which is a little funny since I’ve been to Little 5 and it was the most debaucherous thing I’d ever seen in my life. But I digress.
IU has announced a new policy that bans incoming student-athletes from participating if they have a history of sexual or domestic violence. The policy states that any student:
“…who has been convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence, 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 policy continues, saying that sexual violence is “dating violence, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or sexual violence as defined by the Indiana University policy on sexual misconduct.”
The new policy was approved by the Indiana University-Bloomington Faculty Athletics Committee on April 12. One of the driving forces behind the new policy was Athletic Director Fred Glass, who I now respect immensely.
“I think it’s new ground,” Glass told our media partners at the IndyStar. “My hope is that we’re leading in this area, and maybe others will follow with, maybe not the exact same policy, but one that fits their particular institutions.”
The writing of the new policy was a collaborative effort between several campus departments, including IU’s Office of Student Welfare and Title IX and its Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
In 2015, the SEC banned its schools from accepting transfers from athletes with a history of misconduct, including sexual assault, domestic assault or other forms of sexual violence.
The Big Ten (IU’s conference) doesn’t have an umbrella policy in this regard. Instead, it lets its member institutions determine their own guidelines. Glass said the SEC’s policy influenced the one now in place at IU.
“It’s something the SEC, with their transfer ban, I think raised the issue generally,” Glass told the IndyStar. “We’ve been working on that since that time, in trying to put something together that makes sense for Indiana University.”
This is great news. For years, our prestigious institutions – whether they be academic or professional – have been telling these athletes that their talent is more important than their moral fiber. Disgusting actions have not been met with proper consequences, which only reinforces the notion that this behavior is acceptable. Instilling this type of standard at the early stages of athletic careers can help reverse that trend. It sends a clear message that golden opportunities will not be presented to those that do not deserve them.
Bravo, IU. Well played.