SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of three former student-athletes who claim that the NCAA failed to protect them and others from sexual abuse and harassment they suffered at the hands of their NCAA track and field coach, the NCAA argues it has no legal duty to protect NCAA student-athletes from such predatory conduct.
“The fact that the NCAA is attempting to skirt responsibility to protect student-athletes from sexual abuse and harassment, but will freely dole out sanctions for student-athletes who receive bad grades or accept a free meal, speaks volumes about the NCAA’s misplaced priorities.”
Erin Aldrich, Londa Bevins and Jessica Johnson filed the class action in March 2020 against the NCAA, the NCAA Board of Governors and former University of Texas at Austin and University of Arizona track coach John Rembao. The three former student-athletes allege that the NCAA puts student-athletes at NCAA member schools in harm’s way by failing to prohibit sexual abuse, sexual harassment, or sexual contact between coaches and student-athletes, and by permitting coaches accused of sexual abuse to move unfettered between NCAA schools.
“After these women took the courageous step to come forward about the abuse, the NCAA attempts to wash their hands of any degree of accountability – it’s repugnant,” said FeganScott founder and managing member, Beth Fegan. “The NCAA’s declaration that it has no responsibility to students should be a shrill, stark warning to every student-athlete that the organization does not have their best interests in mind.”