Friday, September 2, 2016

What nobody remembers about KU football and sexual assault

Lot of people rightfully angry about this today:

The University of Kansas has concluded a former KU football player accused of sexually assaulting two former KU women’s rowers had “non-consensual sex” with one and violated the school’s sexual harassment policy in the case of the other.
Folks are rightly pointing out there's a name for "non-consensual sex" — I can only imagine KU didn't use it because that name is a legal term, and it reached its findings in a setting outside the legal system.

As the controversy has gone on about two KU athletes who say they were sexually assaulted by a football player, I've been frustrated that nobody seems to remember that we've been through all of this before. Back in 2000....

A Kansas University soccer player says KU football coach Terry Allen discouraged her from pressing sexual battery charges against two of his players. 
She didn't immediately go to police about the February incident, she said, because Allen promised he would punish the players in an "appropriate way" if the woman didn't press charges.
The "appropriate" punishment? Allen made the players run stairs at the stadium.

There was much chest-beating and a few public tears by KU Athletics when this came out. There was even a blue-ribbon panel that set out how KU Athletics should respond to similar complaints in the future. And I'm guessing that the panel's report was promptly shelved.

Yes, this is 16 years ago — today's student-athletes were toddlers at the time. But KU is pretty good about preserving the institutional memory of things it really cares about. That this incident is so thoroughly forgotten would suggest the issue isn't one of them.

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