Evaluating College Football Coaches’ Legal and Moral Obligations in Reporting Sexual Violence Perpetrated by Athletes


Tori Carpenter

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Sean Dahlin (Sport Management)


Sexual violence on college campuses has been a significant public health issue for many years now. NCAA Division I institutions report a higher number of sexual assaults and violence. Particularly, athletes at the NCAA Division I level are more likely to perpetrate such violence, and, in many cases, coaches have been notorious for concealing the sexually violent behavior their athletes have carried out even with previous knowledge of it. With changes in Title IX that no longer required coaches to report sexual violence carried out by their athletes, moral clauses within coaching contracts are examined in this review in order to determine what moral and ethical standards athletic departments hold them to. The purpose of this legal review is to determine the process of reporting that college football head coaches at this level are legally and morally held to. The methodology used is examining what the law says and what contracts say that hold coaches to a higher moral standard. Based on current coaching contracts, moral and ethical clauses are lacking in many employment agreements, and there is not much moral or ethical accountability for coaches at the NCAA Division I level.

Keywords: Keywords: Sexual Violence, Moral Clauses, Title IX


4 thoughts on “Evaluating College Football Coaches’ Legal and Moral Obligations in Reporting Sexual Violence Perpetrated by Athletes”

  1. Tori,
    Well done. This is a great topic to discuss, and as you mention is significant to not only collegiate sports but public health. What I liked about your presentation is how you distinguished between the NCAA requirements for student athletes and reporting, as well as Title IX- including the changes for mandatory reporting. I also appreciated you defining mandatory reporting for your audience. A suggestion that I have is to provide a background on the existing literature that surrounds your study aims, this could also ‘hook’ your audience into the importance of your topic. Additionally, providing a review of the framework for your study may prove to be beneficial for an audience that may not have much knowledge surrounding your topic, or sexual violence in general. A few thoughts/recommendations I have; how could you incorporate the NCAA, and Title IX moral and ethical obligations into your research aims and study purpose? and could you find an area where ‘group of five’ could be defined as it relates to your study purpose? what future research inquiry recommendation might you conclude from your study? and what are the limitations to your review?

    I personally feel that you have a good overview of this topic with implications for a qualitative methods approach that could gain an understanding of reporting policy and procedures as they relate to sexual violence from the perspective of coaches and athletes (i.e., how aware are these persons of said policy structures, etc.).
    Great topic, Tori!

  2. Tori,
    You picked a great topic with both collegiate and public health significance. You did a great job reviewing the NCAA and Title IX policy regarding moral and ethical responsibilities. I was very shocked to find out that Title IX no longer requires coaches to report sexual violence. The one recommendation I have is that background and statistics on college campus sexual violence could have been more in-depth to give the audience a feel for how serious and prevalent the issues of sexual violence still is.
    Secondly, I would like to know to if there is a correlation with schools that do not have a moral clause in the coaches contracts and the dependence on athletic revenue as well as sexual assault rates.

  3. Hi Tori,
    Thank you for this great presentation! I had no idea that Title IX laws had changed so much and may be doing more harm to the public health of college students. I really appreciated how you broke down the laws associated with mandatory reporting for coaches. Because those laws have changed, acts of violence have been pushed off due to lack of reporting. Were you able to find out any information about why they decided to change the mandatory reporting clause for coaches in the Title IX law? There must be a lot of conversation that takes place when someone suggests a change for a law regarding sexual violence, so I wonder what led lawmakers to make these changes? One suggestion I have is that maybe you could talk about the way that this law change could impact students who may have experienced or know someone who has experienced sexual violence. Especially the impact it may have on how safe and protected students would feel on campus. Thank you for sharing your research and talking about this all-important topic.

  4. Hi Tori,
    Your presentation enlightened us all on the current issues with Title IX in regards to NCAA coaches and athletes. I had no idea that Title IX has changed so significantly, it is truly appalling. To know that policies created at colleges and universities are no longer serving their purpose in protecting the students that attend those institutions, the ones that fund the majority of the money or at least the reason that school receives any funding is horrible. Understanding that a college’s ranking in NCAA matters in regards to additional funding that also supports coaches and allows them to receive the pay that they do, this would be something worth exploring further in this subject. It would be interesting to add to your study would be studying the correlation between the change in moarls within college athlete contracts and revenue the department/college funding received before and after the change. Overall, your project was presented very well on a interesting topic.

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