Study Finds That Student Athletes Are a Disproportionate Percentage of Campus Sexual Offenders

A new study by the USA Today Network found that student athletes at colleges and universities are three times as likely to be disciplined for sexual misconduct that the general student population. The study found that student athletes make up about 3 percent of total enrollments but were 9 percent of the student disciplined for sexual misconduct. Football players account for only 1 percent of total enrollments but were 6 percent of all students disciplined for sexual misconduct.

The study also found that of the 47 student athletes who were disciplined for sexual misconduct, at least 11 transferred and continued their collegiate athletic career at another institution.

The USA Today Network asked for data from 226 NCAA Division I state-operated colleges and universities. But only 35 responded.

The low response rate from universities “is a sad commentary on the culture of secrecy and image obsession that permeates higher education,” Frank LoMonte, a University of Florida professor and expert in federal student privacy laws told the USA Network investigators. “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.”

Filed Under: Research/StudySexual Assault/Harassment

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