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NCAA Board of Governors Policy on Campus Sexual Violence

Adopted Aug. 8, 2017, updated May 1, 2020

Preamble.

The NCAA is a voluntary membership organization dedicated to promoting and developing its core values of academics, well-being and fairness among the 1,100 member schools and more than 450,000 student-athletes who participate in college sports. Sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual and interpersonal violence violate human decency and the Association's core values.

Association's Efforts in Sexual Violence Prevention.

The Association has been actively engaged in addressing sexual violence prevention through proactive membership and societal engagement measures since 2010. In 2010, the NCAA Executive Committee (now NCAA Board of Governors) issued a directive to the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct to support the membership in addressing sexual violence on campus. The directive was followed-up with the 2011 Summit on Violence Prevention. In 2012, the NCAA sponsored a think tank, which led to the production of the comprehensive 2014 guide titled " Addressing Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence." In August 2014, the Executive Committee passed a resolution that specifies that appropriately addressing sexual violence is integral to responsible intercollegiate athletics programs. Specifically, the resolution states that addressing sexual violence: (1) Is consistent with the values and principles articulated in the NCAA Constitution; (2) Is mandated by state and federal laws; and (3) Must be part of a collaborative effort with campus policies. Following the resolution, a newly formed inter-disciplinary task force produced the " Sexual Violence Prevention Toolkit" in 2016 and updated in 2019, which is endorsed by 12 Higher Education organizations, five NCAA committees and three national organizations. Also in 2016, the NCAA convened the Higher Education Summit on Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence which included representatives from higher education associations, NCAA Association-wide committees and subject matter experts. In August of that year, the Board of Governors appointed a Commission to Combat Campus Sexual Violence, for which the commission defined the aspirational culture for colleges and universities as:

A positive and thriving athletics team culture that revolves around respect and empathy for all, fostering a climate in which all feel that they are respected, valued and contributing members of their teams, athletics programs and institutions; and creating an environment in which students (athletes and nonathletes alike) feel safe and secure, both emotionally and physically, and are free of fears of retaliation or reprisal. The positive culture exuded by a member institution's NCAA teams is the catalyst for a positive culture across an entire campus.

In keeping with this aspirational culture, the commission recommended the Board of Governors adopt an Association-wide policy to reinforce previous efforts of the Association in addressing campus sexual violence and this document represents the Board of Governors’ adoption of such policy.

Overarching Principles.

  1. Intercollegiate athletics departments should be informed on and integrated in overall campus policies and processes addressing sexual and interpersonal violence prevention and acts of sexual violence, particularly those related to adjudication and resolution of matters related to sexual and interpersonal violence.
  2. Intercollegiate athletics departments should review annually the most current Checklist Recommendations of the NCAA Sexual Violence Prevention Toolkit, using it as a guide with resources to conduct ongoing, comprehensive education for student- athletes, coaches and athletics administrators.
  3. Intercollegiate athletics programs should utilize their platform to serve as leaders on campus through engagement in and collaboration on efforts to support campus-wide sexual and interpersonal violence prevention initiatives. This includes involving student- athletes in prevention efforts in meaningful ways across the campus, including encouraging use of leadership roles on campus to support such efforts.

Each university chancellor/president, director of athletics and campus Title IX coordinator* must attest annually that:

  1. The athletics department is informed on, integrated in, and compliant with institutional policies and processes regarding sexual violence prevention and proper adjudication and resolution of acts of sexual and interpersonal violence.
  2. The institutional policies and processes regarding sexual violence prevention and adjudication, and the name and contact information for the campus Title IX coordinator*, are readily available within the department of athletics, and are provided to student- athletes.
  3. All student-athletes, coaches and staff have been educated each year on sexual violence prevention, intervention and response, to the extent allowable by state law and collective bargaining agreements.
  4. All prospective, continuing and transfer student-athletes have completed a disclosure form annually related to their conduct that resulted in an investigation, discipline through a Title IX proceeding or in a criminal conviction for sexual, interpersonal or other acts of violence.** Failure to accurately and fully disclose investigatory activity, a disciplinary action or criminal conviction could result in penalties, including loss of eligibility to participate in athletics as determined by the member institution.
  5. Institutions have taken reasonable steps to confirm whether prospective, continuing and transfer student-athletes have been under investigation, subject to discipline through a Title IX proceeding or criminally convicted of sexual, interpersonal or other acts of violence.** In a manner consistent  with  federal  and  state  law,  all  NCAA member institutions must share information related to these matters with other member institutions when a student-athlete attempts to enroll in a new college or university.
  6. An institution choosing to recruit a prospective student-athlete or accept a transfer student- athlete must have a written policy that directs its staff to gather information that reasonably yields information from the former institution(s) to put the recruiting institutional leadership on notice that the prospect has been under investigation, disciplined through a Title IX proceeding or a criminal conviction for sexual, interpersonal or other acts of violence.** Failure to have a written policy and to gather information consistent with that policy could result in penalties.

Further, the athletics department will cooperate with college or university investigations into reports and matters related to sexual and interpersonal violence involving student-athletes and athletics department staff in a manner compliant with institutional policies for all students.

If a school is not able to attest their compliance with the above requirements, it will be prohibited from hosting any NCAA championship competitions for the next applicable academic year.

*For international members and schools that do not receive federal funding, or are otherwise exempt from Title IX, the signature should be from the Title IX coordinator or institutional staff member with comparable responsibilities

**A person who has been disciplined through a Title IX proceeding or criminally convicted, regardless of the degree, and whether the result of a plea or court determination, of either of the following:

Interpersonal Violence: Violence that is predominantly caused due to the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator, including dating and domestic violence.

Sexual Violence: A term used to include both forcible and nonforcible sex offenses, ranging from sexual battery to rape.

Other Acts of Violence: Crimes including murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault or any assault that employs the use of a deadly weapon or causes serious bodily injury.