Jan 23, 2020 - Sports

The NCAA's "predator pipeline"

Reproduced from Jennifer F.A. Borresen/USA Today; Diagram: Axios Visuals

The NCAA routinely punishes student athletes for getting bad grades or accepting free meals, but nowhere in its 440-page rule book does it cite penalties for sexual violence.

Driving the news: Last month, USA Today published a wide-ranging investigation that examined how college athletes move from school to school and continue to play sports even after being found responsible for sexual assault.

Key findings

1. Athletes are frequent offenders: Over the past five years, the nearly three dozen NCAA Division I universities that contributed data disciplined athletes for sexual misconduct at more than three times the rate of the general student population.

2. The transfer "loophole": Even when expelled from school, the NCAA allows athletes to transfer elsewhere and keep playing, "a pipeline that college athletes disciplined for sexual assault use regularly to resurrect their playing careers and leave sanctions behind," writes USA Today's Kenny Jacoby.

  • Crazy story: After a star University of Oregon football player was expelled for raping two women, the U.S. Department of Education helped facilitate a deal that got his disciplinary record changed from "expelled for sexual misconduct" to "expelled for student conduct," a change that helped him get recruited.

3. Schools won't comply: USA Today tried to collect disciplinary records from 226 Division I public schools across the country, but only 35 complied.

"People in higher education have come to regard their institutions as a brand and will do anything to protect the brand, even if that means putting people on campus at risk."
— Frank LoMonte, University of Florida Professor

4. The push for change: Advocates continue to spread awareness about this cause, which has led some NCAA conferences to adopt their own sexual violence policies, with a handful of schools taking a zero-tolerance approach.

What to watch: The USA Today investigation caught the attention of Congress, which has since pressured the NCAA to review its sexual violence policies. Perhaps president Mark Emmert will address the topic in his "state-of-college-sports" address tonight at the organization's annual convention.

Go deeper: Global #MeToo movement has resulted in 6 convictions, 5 charges of influential figures

Go deeper

NCAA president appears before Congress

NCAA president Mark Emmert at Tuesday's hearing. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

NCAA president Mark Emmert and four other witnesses testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee yesterday, as the issue of student-athletes profiting off their name, image and likeness (NIL) took center stage in the nation's capital.

"Sports is something that cuts across party lines, it cuts across geography and it's so ingrained in our culture. Everyone wants to see that if nothing else in our country works, they want to see our sports work."
Sen. Jon Thune (R-S.D.)
Go deeperArrowFeb 12, 2020 - Sports

#MeToo hits the banking industry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The banking world was rocked this week with two major headlines: One, that Wells Fargo is dropping its mandatory arbitration clause for employee sexual harassment complaints; and two, that a former employee of PNC won a $2.4 million jury award in her harassment case against the bank.

Why it matters: Originally, the #MeToo movement was largely focused on the media and entertainment worlds, before migrating to technology companies. Now it looks like commercial banks are in the crosshairs, too.

What we're reading: "Whistleblower"

Book cover via Penguin Random House

In February 2017, Susan Fowler's "reflection on one very, very strange year at Uber" precipitated the downfall of Uber's founding CEO Travis Kalanick — and marked the point at which the entire national conversation about technology companies shifted from cheerleading to skepticism.

  • Fowler went quiet after her blog post was published, but now, three years later, she's back with a memoir, "Whistleblower," that promises to start a new conflagration of its own. This time, the system being indicted is not Uber, or even Silicon Valley more broadly, but the entire American patriarchy.