|By Jeff Jacobs, The Hartford Courant|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
One could make an argument that
As part of the July settlement, the school admitted no wrongdoing. Four of the plaintiffs who had been part of a seven-person complaint with the
Did the school buy an end to a long, humiliating public battle that involved a number of
Neither, of course, address where we go from here.
We have a Heisman Trophy winner from
As another season of collegiate sports is about to begin, good Lord, can we do our best not to make it open season on college women, too?
More than that, I'd love to see some public demonstration by our
"This is a bigger issue than student athletes," Manuel said. "While some of the statistics say there is an unbalanced situation with athletes, I think what we need to do is continue to educate and make sure these young men understand the expectations we have for them and what is the right thing to do. This is not rocket science. It's getting young men to understand the value of being a good person, a good citizen, a good boyfriend and that violence is not the answer."
Chew on these numbers gathered from a variety of sources:
--Male athletes make up 3.3 percent of the student population, according to The National Coalition Against Violent Athletes in 1994, yet account for 19 percent of sexual assaults and 35 percent of domestic-violence incidents.
--A whopping 22 percent of universities nationwide give their athletic departments oversight over sexual violence cases involving athletes, according to a July report by Sen.
--From 2006-2010, United Educators, an insurance company owned by more than 1,000 colleges, received 262 claims of student-perpetrated sexual assault: 96 percent involved acquaintances; 92 percent of the accusers were under the influence of alcohol, 60 percent so intoxicated they had no clear memory of the assault; and 63 percent were first-year students. According to United Educators, athletes formed 25 percent of the study's alleged perpetrators. Re-read the numbers, imagine a college party, you get the picture.
Three of the alleged rapes were by people affiliated with
With big expectations come big responsibilities.
Manuel said experts have been brought in to discuss relationships with athletes. He said coaches continue to talk to the athletes about expectations of their behavior with women and making sure aberrant behavior is not tolerated.
"And as things continue to evolve at
Ultimately, it is a two-layered solution. Look, I could make a lot of noise slamming the universities and police and the arrogance of big-time athletics. And don't get me wrong, there is plenty of blame to go around. But the blame starts with the sexual assault and don't ever forget it.
The good news? Changes are being made and more are being pushed. Among a number of steps,
This month, U.S. Sen.
The fight must and will undoubtedly continue on that front. Public opinion is running hot. Yet I worry that too many people have a defeatist attitude about the behavior of young people, the second layer. Parties. Alcohol. Boys. Girls. Big Man on Campus feels entitled. No means no, but then a young woman goes off alone with a potential predator. Not a good choice. The blame game ensues. He said. She said. Sound familiar?
No, the problem will never totally end. Yet there is growing evidence of success for programs like bystander intervention. Years of putting the onus on women's choices didn't change male behavior. Something as easy as a guy learning to step in and deftly guiding his buddy away from a bad situation is an educational tool worth learning. Hey, stats show designated drivers saved lives. Behavior modification of the entitled big-time jock when he has been drinking at a party obviously isn't easy, but knowing that when he wakes up he could lose his scholarship and his dream will help sober him up. The solution is two-layered. We've got to get to that solution for our daughters.
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