Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Iowa Athletic Department Cover-Up of Sexual Assault Investigated

The University of Iowa seems poised to join in ignominy the likes of University of Washington, University of Colorado, ASU, Hofstra and the University of Georgia, all of whom have had to defend their athletic departments in court for covering up rape and sexual assault promulgated by their football players.

Though no lawsuit against the University of Iowa has been filed, the Board of Regents is investigating a sexual assault case allegedly perpetrated by two football players on a female student athlete. The Board learned only last week that the victim's mother has claimed that the athletic department officials -- including football coach Kirk Ferentz and AD Gary Barta -- encouraged her daughter not to report the assault to university officials or the police so that the athletic department could handle the matter internally. But while the athletic department did nothing for over three weeks, the victim continued to suffer harassment by the alleged perpetrators. Only after the victim contacted the local police over three weeks after the assault did Ferentz announced the suspension of the two players who had been charged with sexual assault, for undisclosed reasons.

Notice, deliberate indifference, subsequent harm to the plaintiff -- sounds like a Title IX lawsuit to me.

Via Feministing and Lawyers, Guns and Money