Q: What do I need to know about the NCAA Campus Sexual Violence Policy?
A: Beginning in the 2022-2023 academic school year, universities are required to report annually to NCAA regarding information on sexual violence prevention and adjudication at their institutions. . As a result, student athletes are now generally required to disclose annually to their institutions discipline they’ve received through a Title IX proceeding or a criminal conviction for sexual, interpersonal, or other acts of violence. This applies to all incoming, transfer, and current student-athletes.
In addition, student-athletes are required to disclose whether a Title IX proceeding was pending at the time of transfer. In other words, students who transfer when a Title IX investigation is pending even without a finding must disclose the existence of that investigation.
Failure to fully and accurately disclose this information could result in disciplinary action and loss of athletic eligibility.
Q: What is the NCAA One-Time Transfer exception, and do I qualify?
A; Beginning in the fall of 2021, student-athletes transferring from a four-year institution to an NCAA Division I school are immediately eligible for athletics at the Division I school if the student-athlete:
– Transfers from a four-year college institution to an NCAA Division I school;
– Leaves his/her current four-year college institution “academically eligible”;
– Has not previously transferred from another four-year college or institution;
– Certifies in writing that they did not have direct or indirect communication with the new school’s athletics staff prior to entering the Transfer Portal (the head coach must make the same certification).
In other words, if you qualify for the One-Time Transfer exception, you do not have to sit out a year from your sport.
Q: If I have been investigated for a Title IX violation at my current school, can I transfer to another school and be eligible to play my sport immediately?
A: Possibly. It depends on a lot of factors, and is ultimately the decision of the new college or university where you are transferring. Depending on what you were investigated for, you are likely required to disclose the investigation (and any discipline) to the new institution. The new school makes its own determination regarding whether you are eligible to compete for the team. Additionally, whether you have to sit out a year or not depends on whether you qualify for the One-Time Transfer exception.
Q: What is SafeSport, and does it apply to me?
A: SafeSport is an independent organization tasked by federal statute with addressing sexual misconduct involving athletes and coaches in Olympic and Paralympic sports. SafeSport has jurisdiction over Olympic sports (such as rowing, swimming, gymnastics, skiing, track, and others), so if you play an Olympic sport, then SafeSport applies to you.
Q: What kind of sanctions can SafeSport impose?
A: Depending on the procedural status and the allegations, SafeSport may impose temporary measures such as altering training schedules, limiting contact between parties, and suspension from participating in all or some of the sport. Following an investigation and finding of a violation of SafeSport Policy, SafeSport may impose sanctions such as probation, suspension, or permanent ineligibility. And unlike campus discipline proceedings that occur within the context of the college/university disciplinary process, SafeSport may publish in its database the names of individuals who have been sanctioned depending on the sanction.
Q: If I am investigated or disciplined at my college or university, will the allegation or discipline be automatically reported to SafeSport?
A: Not necessarily, but it is possible and you should expect that it may be reported to SafeSport. There are a number of factors that determine whether that is likely to happen.