If you're a college student, you need to know about Title IX. Why? First, anyone can find themselves accused at any time. Second, it's no easy matter to defend yourself from such an accusation; you have to be prepared ahead of time. Most importantly, if your school should find you responsible for a violation, the consequences can be devastating. The minimum penalty in sexual misconduct cases is usually suspension. The more likely outcome is expulsion.
If you're an athlete—a baseball player, for instance—you have to be especially on guard. People on campus know who you are. There are benefits to that, but there are dangers as well. When it comes to Title IX, you have a target on your back.
In the Limelight
We love sports. We love watching them; we love hearing about them. There's probably only one subject that trumps sports: sex. Combine the two, and we can't look away. A triple play is mesmerizing, but it can't hold a candle to hearing about a college athlete who's been accused of sexual assault.
Think about it: when was the last time you heard a story on your local news about an average, run-of-the-mill student—a physics major, maybe, or an English lit student—accused of date rape? Physics majors get accused, of course, but no one pays much attention when they do.
Accused baseball players, on the other hand, don't just make the local news. They're on ESPN and CNN. They make the headlines:
- “SLU baseball player suspended amid sexual assault investigation”
- “Davidson College student accused of sexually assaulting female student no longer on baseball team”
- “F&M College baseball player charged with sexual battery of minor in Florida”
You're more likely to make the news if you wind up accused of a Title IX offense, but that's not all there is to it. The thing is, all those salacious headlines that we've been reading for all these years have created an unfair impression of athletes as angry, entitled, adrenaline-fueled predators. That means if you're charged with sexual misconduct, you can expect the public to turn on you instantly before your school's even gotten around to conducting an investigation. It can be difficult, under those circumstances, to get a fair hearing.
There's an even darker side to being in the limelight, though. You aren't just famous to all the baseball fans out there. You're also famous on campus: other students know who you are, even if they don't care anything about baseball. Some student wants to make their boyfriend jealous, so they say they've been sleeping with an athlete. Another gets caught drinking or using drugs by the campus police, and their excuse is that they're trying to cope with having been raped by an athlete.
It's a vicious cycle: as an athlete, you're more likely to be accused; you're more likely to show up in the paper; and, as a result, you're more likely to be accused.
How Do You Protect Yourself?
The bottom line is, as an athlete, you're a target. You're a target for accusations; you're a target for the media; you're a target for public outrage. All of this means you're also a target for injustice. Your school doesn't want to be in the headlines any more than you do, and they'll do anything to avoid it, even if that means sacrificing you and your future.
You don't have to simply accept your fate, though. If you find yourself accused, make sure you have a Title IX attorney on your side, someone who knows the law and who has experience helping athletes get the justice they deserve.
To find out more, or to get help with your Title IX case, contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-555-3686, or use our automated online form.