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Wash. Student Leaders Push to Ban Athletes Convicted of Sex Crimes

Wash. State University student leaders are urging the school to adopt a policy that would ban the recruitment of student athletes convicted of sex crimes.

Wash. Student Leaders Push to Ban Athletes Convicted of Sex Crimes

University spokesman Phil Weiler says administrators are in the process of setting up a meeting with the student body leaders.

Student body leaders at Washington State University are pushing the school to adopt a policy that would ban the recruitment of student athletes with prior sexual assault convictions.

A letter sent in late June to WSU President Kirk Schulz and Director of Athletics Bill Moos urged them to avoid recruiting athletes “who have pled guilty to or been convicted of dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, rape, sexual assault, or sexual violence,” according to U.S. News.

The letter was signed by student body president Jordan Frost, graduate and professional student association president Shane Reynolds, and student athlete advisory committee president Abu Kamara, who is also a member of the school’s track team.

“This is part of a larger effort to talk about sexual assault on college campuses,” says Frost. “We said, what’s important to you? And students said sexual assault over and over and over.”

University spokesman Phil Weiler says administrators are in the process of setting up a meeting with the student body leaders.

Weiler claimed that the issue is complicated, citing a study currently being conducted by the Pacific-12 Conference to determine if a league-wide policy should be implemented to ban the recruitment of athletes with sex crime convictions. He says an adopted policy by WSU would have to apply to all students, not just student athletes.

“Playing college sports is a huge privilege,” says Frost, pointing out that student athletes receive a free education, special food accommodations and additional compensations other students do not receive. “We’re not saying we’re against people getting better, moving on with their lives, but we’re not going to give privileges to those who commit violent acts.”

In April, Indiana University approved a policy making any prospective student athlete ineligible if convicted of a sexual assault crime. It applies to a wide range of prospects, including transfers and incoming freshman.

The policy says it will also “carefully consider whether to recruit any prospective student athletes with any serious and/or repetitive criminal, school discipline, or other misconduct issues.”

“We are trying to be an early adopter of this,” says Frost.

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Amy Rock is Campus Safety's senior editor. She graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a minor in Education.

She has worked in the publishing industry since 2011, in both events and digital marketing.

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