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NCAA Board of Governors Policy on Campus Sexual Violence

Adopted August 8, 2017

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 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, 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 fully knowledgeable about and integrated in overall campus policies and processes addressing sexual violence prevention and acts of sexual violence, particularly those related to adjudication and resolution of matters related to sexual 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 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 Title IX coordinator* must attest annually that:

  1. The athletics department is fully 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.
  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 on sexual violence prevention, intervention and response, to the extent allowable by state law and collective bargaining agreements.

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