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The Journal Gazette

Friday, April 21, 2017 1:00 am

IU takes stand against violence

Will no longer admit athletes with sexual or domestic incidents

Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON – Indiana University will no longer admit student-athletes with a history of sexual or domestic violence.

The Indianapolis Star reported the athletics department policy was approved this month. It bans prospective student-athletes from athletics-related financial aid, practice and competition if they have been “convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence.” That includes transfer students and incoming freshman.

The policy defines sexual violence as “dating violence, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or sexual violence as defined by the Indiana University policy on sexual misconduct.”

The new policy, the brainchild of athletic director Fred Glass, comes amid heightened scrutiny of how schools handle sexual and domestic violence involving college athletes. Indiana University dismissed freshman football player Kiante Enis within hours of his September arrest on child molesting charges. Enis has pleaded not guilty to having an improper relationship with a girl under 13.

In 2015, the Southeastern Conference banned member institutions from accepting transfer students with a history of serious misconduct, including sexual and domestic assault. IU's conference, the Big Ten, has so far left decisions to individual institutions.

“I think it's new ground,” Glass said. “My hope is that we're leading in this area, and maybe others will follow with, maybe not the exact same policy, but one that fits their particular institutions.”

Glass has been at the forefront of trying to find the best way to handle sexual assault investigations involving student athletes. In crafting the new policy, he consulted with the university's Office of Student Welfare and Title IX, its Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, faculty athletics representative Kurt Zorn and head coaches.

The policy includes an appellate process, where an appeal would go before a committee composed of school officials outside the athletic department, which Glass said was key. Another school policy remains about suspending current student-athletes accused of a sexually violent crime from competition until the matter is resolved.