Athletes, assaults and inaction

The issue came to head July 9 in Washington, D.C., when Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, -- a co-sponsor of the Senate bill -- released a study that examined how colleges and universities respond to allegations of sexual violence. One statistic from the study stated that 22 percent of the schools said oversight of reports of sexual violence involving athletes is given to their athletic departments. At a Senate hearing that day, she grilled NCAA President Mark Emmert, asking him how the NCAA could allow such a practice.

A month later, the NCAA Executive Committee unanimously approved a resolution instructing athletic departments to "Cooperate with but not manage, direct, control or interfere with college or university investigations into allegations of sexual violence."

In January, McCaskill called for Missouri, her alma mater, to conduct a probe into the alleged sexual assault of Sasha Menu Courey, a swimmer who committed suicide months after reporting the assault to several campus medical professionals and writing in her diary that she also had told her athletic academic adviser.

When McCaskill learned in an interview last week of Washington's string of alleged incidents, she said, "There's just no excuse. It makes me sick to my stomach." However, she said she feels confident that the university "wants to do better" and is working toward that end.

At the College of Southern Idaho, Title IX coordinator Arrossa told "Outside the Lines" several months ago that the way the Swilling allegations were handled has prompted the school to review its policy and start mandatory Title IX training for key faculty and staff members, including athletic department staff and coaches.

"This has been a good exercise for us because it made us look at our policy," he said. "This won't happen again."

Nicole Noren is a producer in ESPN's enterprise and investigative unit and can be reached at Production assistant Jennifer Somach contributed to this report.

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