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Expand chart
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

Updated 4 mins ago - Science

China launches first astronauts to new space station

The manned Shenzhou-12 spacecraft from China's Manned Space Agency onboard the Long March-2F rocket launches at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, Gansu province, China, on Thursday morning Beijing time. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China's Shenzhou 12 mission carrying three astronauts launched into orbit on Thursday morning Beijing time.

Why it matters: Astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo are set to occupy China's new space station. This will be the country's longest crewed space mission ever and the first in almost five years.

Biden's two-step negotiating process

President Biden departs Geneva. Photo: Martial Trezzini/Pool/AFP via Getty

President Biden's summit "reset" was less about trying to make a friend out of Russia than reframing what the U.S. believes can be accomplished by engaging with President Vladimir Putin.

Driving the news: The Geneva meeting yielded no immediate breakthroughs beyond agreements about ambassadors returning to work and plans to launch talks on nuclear security. But in classic Biden fashion — aviators on, jacket off and a one-liner about invading Russia he had to clarify was a joke — the U.S. president used a post-summit news conference to explain his approach.

Scoop: NRCC to accept cryptocurrency donations

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Republicans' House campaign arm will begin accepting contributions in cryptocurrency, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The National Republican Congressional Committee is the first national party committee to solicit crypto donations. That puts it at the forefront of a disruptive financial technology that could test campaign finance rules.