The University Of Tennessee Faces Allegations Of Overlooking Sexual Assaults By Athletes
The University of Tennessee athletic department has not been relevant for some time, but sports are still a religion in Knoxville, Tennessee. The university has come under fire for allegations that has overlooked sexual assaults committed by athletes. A lawsuit recently filed against the university claims a hostile sexual environment, and details of this case could go far beyond college football betting lines in the fall.
The Case Mirrors Issues At Florida State
The Jameis Winston case at Florida State uncovered issues with the Tallahassee police department. The alleged victim was told that she should not bother fighting the university, and it appears that Winston may have been given preferential treatment by the police. The University of Tennessee may have a similar problem, but the problem is more pronounced in 2016.
The Lawsuit Alleges Many Violations
The lawsuit filed against the school alleges that girls in Knoxville and at the university are subject to a massive amount of sexual harassment that escalated to assault in some cases. Male athletes at the university are accused of committing many sexual assaults, and the university is accused of overlooking these allegations in favor of winning games. The football and basketball team make a lot of money for the school, and the administration has been accused of placing money above safety of female students.
There Is A Larger Issue At Play
The larger issue for Tennessee is a lack of institutional control on the whole. The entire school could be implicated and found guilty in a civil court of covering up sexual assault. Every member of the administration could be forced to resign because of these allegations, and the school’s academic integrity could be called into question. The lawsuit does not seek to tear down the university, but the school may have torn itself down with its actions.
How Do We Police Athletes?
Policing athlete behavior has long been a concern for college coaches, but this lawsuit may force every program around the country to work on policing athlete behavior more than ever before. College athletes are fully-grown adults, but they are often not capable of making wise decisions. Schools may be forced to spend millions on security, training and assistance for athletes, and schools will be under more scrutiny if malfeasance is discovered on campus.
Will Tennessee Survive?
Tennessee could be penalized by the NCAA after the lawsuit has come to a conclusion. The NCAA can charge the athletic department with lack of institutional control, and the NCAA could penalize every sports team involved. Tennessee athletics will not receive the death penalty, but the school will lose any traction it had before the lawsuit. The school chose between money and safety, and the school has chosen incorrectly.
The lawsuit filed against the University of Tennessee over an alleged cover-up of sexual assaults could be a death knell for an athletic department that is not relevant at the moment. The school will field teams in men’s athletics, but betting on football at Tennessee will become completely irrelevant.