By Gail Dent
Individuals with an interest in the prevention of interpersonal campus violence recently addressed how athletics can further education and better inform student-athletes and administrators on the subject.
The participants, who included subject-matter experts both from within the NCAA and from outside, discussed the topic during an NCAA-sponsored Think Tank conducted Oct. 3-4 in Washington, D.C. The NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct will consider resulting ideas at its Oct. 29-30 meeting.
NCAA President Mark Emmert spoke to the group and stressed the role of athletics in preventing campus violence.
“We need to have a better understanding of the issue of campus violence and address the role athletics might play in prevention,” Emmert said. “Athletics is at the forefront of many things and has such an impact that it can drive culture and be an enormous lever for social change. If we can be successful in athletics in providing higher education with best practices and templates on how to address this issue, then we can be leaders for change across our campuses.”
Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Debbie Wilson said the Think Tank helped her and others gain a greater understanding of the issues surrounding campus violence.
“We aren’t subject matter experts so we need that guidance and feedback,” said Wilson, associate athletics director for academic services/sport psychologist at George Mason University. “I have a clearer understanding now of what direction we might want to take as a committee in the next six months or so. We’ll also want to continue to partner with the experts and look at ways we can help member schools address this topic.”
Suggestions forwarded to the Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct included:
Victoria Banyard, University of New Hampshire
Tai Brown, American Football Coaches Association
Myrta Charles, Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women
Janet Judge, Sports Law Associates
Connie Kirkland, Northern Virginia Community College
Cari Klecka, NCAA staff
Brandi Hephner LaBlanc, University of Mississippi
Linda Langford, U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center of Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention
Don McPherson, Men Against Sexual Violence
Chuck Mitrano, Empire 8 Conference
Ada Meloy, American Council on Education
Keri Potts, ESPN and victims advocate
Diane Rosenfeld, Harvard Law School
Celia Slater, The Alliance of Women Coaches
Richard Southall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Robert Vowels, NCAA staff
Deborah Wilson, George Mason University
Andrea Zevenbergen, SUNY Fredonia