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Board adopts sexual violence policy

Action also taken on several health and safety initiatives

Coaches, college athletes and athletics administrators are required to complete education each year in sexual violence prevention, according to a policy adopted by the NCAA Board of Governors.

As part of the new policy, leaders on each NCAA campus — the school president or chancellor, athletics director and Title IX coordinator — must attest annually that coaches, athletics administrators and student-athletes were educated in sexual violence prevention.

Additionally, according to the new policy, each of the three campus officials must declare that:

  • The school’s athletics department is knowledgeable about, integrated in, and compliant with institutional policies and processes regarding sexual violence prevention and proper adjudication and resolution of acts of sexual violence.
  • The school’s policies regarding sexual violence prevention and adjudication — plus the name and contact information for the campus Title IX coordinator — are readily available in the athletics department and are distributed to student-athletes.

The names of colleges and universities that attest they have complied will be included in a report delivered each year to the Board of Governors and published on ncaa.org.

Adopted Tuesday, the policy was recommended by the Commission to Combat Campus Sexual Violence, created one year ago by the board to examine issues of sexual violence and propose solutions for what athletics departments, conferences and the NCAA can do to enhance sexual violence prevention efforts and achieve positive culture change on college campuses. The commission is composed of college and university presidents, athletics administrators, coaches, sexual violence experts, advocates and student-athletes.

The board also directed the commission to partner with other higher education organizations to propose broader solutions and pursue better data to inform future decisions.

The board has taken several steps toward addressing sexual violence prevention since 2010, including working to define how a college athletics department should properly respond to sexual violence accusations involving a student-athlete. In 2014, the board — then called the NCAA Executive Committee — passed a resolution that lays out expectations for athletics departments, which serves as the foundation for the adopted Association-wide policy.

Weeks after the resolution passed in 2014, the NCAA released the handbook “Addressing Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence: Athletics’ Role in Support of Healthy and Safe Campuses” and followed it with sexual violence prevention tool kit to aid athletics administrators in their efforts to create campus communities free of violence and foster safe places for students to learn and thrive.

Health and safety initiatives

The board, progressing the Association’s board-ratified health and safety agenda, requested that each division bring a uniform approach to concussion safety protocol review and implementation. The initial recommendation came from the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.

Additionally, the board approved the creation of four task forces.

  • Interassociation Task Force to Address Mental Health Best Practice Strategies: The group will identify models of care and strategies to assist the membership in effectively implementing the Interassociation Mental Health Best Practices.
  • Task Force on Football Data Analysis and Policy Implications: The task force will identify potential football practice strategies through an analysis of time-sensitive data.
  • Interassociation Task Force on the Pain Management of College Athletes: The group will identify best practices for pain management in college athletes.
  • Interassociation Task Force on Wearable Technologies: The task force will examine how wearable technologies can bolster the health and safety of student-athletes.

esports

The board discussed the current esports landscape, including the prevalence of organized gaming competitions at campuses across the country. The presidents will continue the conversation in their October meeting to better understand the NCAA’s potential role.