College Football

Indiana Athletics Ban a Smokescreen

Yesterday multiple news outlets reported that Indiana University has placed a ban that will no longer allow students with a history of sexual violence to be accepted into their athletic programs. This is a noble gesture and should be praised as such but it begs the question, how the hell is this just now becoming a policy?

It is 2017 and I’m pretty sure we didn’t just decide that rape is bad. Additionally, it is hard to imagine that IU has had a problem with this issue. Like has there been instances where rapists have been let into school because there wasn’t a policy in place to stop them? Was the fact that someone is sexually violent not at all a criteria for admission? In my mind, this is an unnecessary policy given it’s nature. Coaches generally vet prospective students thoroughly. They aren’t just letting rapist after rapist walk through the door. So why decide to make this ban now? What could possibly be the motive?

In completely unrelated news, it was reported yesterday that ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” will soon be airing an episode that will dive into allegations of medical misconduct by the university when dealing with student-athletes. To sum a very long story up, football coach Kevin Wilson (who recently resigned) was putting immense pressure on the team’s athletic training staff to make certain rulings on players’ availability. Essentially, if a player needed a few more weeks to recover for an injury but the team needed them for that week’s game, a trainer was going to give them the green light even if it wasn’t in said player’s best interest. Unfortunately, this is a pretty common practice in college football. Somewhat recently, identical allegations came up at another Big Ten school Illinois. Coaching is a profession with a high turnover rate and it seems coaches will do anything just to win a few more games.

Now generally I’m not into conspiracy theories but just for fun, let’s connect the dots. Indiana University knows they are going to get bad publicity in the near future for their athletic department. On the same day that a story about said publicity is published they pass a seemingly unnecessary policy that will shed positive light on the department. Seems to me like these two stories may in fact be related. But hey, what do I know? Maybe I’m just cynical and IU really is putting this ban in place to protect their student-athletes. I’m sure they value the safety of those kids, right? Tons of evidence of that.


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