Student-Athletes Accused of Title IX in Alabama

Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that is intended to prohibit gender discrimination against students who attend federally funded colleges and universities. The law was initially enacted in 1972 to resolve ongoing complaints of inequality in intercollegiate sports, but in recent years it is addressed due to a more pervasive form of gender discrimination: sexual misconduct.

A “respondent” in a Title IX matter is a person who has been accused of sexual misconduct. There's an unshakeable stigma that comes with being a respondent in these cases that often warrants premature judgment. Being a student-athlete who also happens to be a respondent adds another layer of complexity to an already difficult process. To successfully navigate your school's process as a student-athlete respondent, you absolutely need the help of an attorney-advisor. Here's why:

You Might Be Suspended Pending an Investigation

Higher education is big on integrity. This is why Alabama schools, and other colleges and universities in states across the country, are notorious for bringing down the hammer when their students are accused of criminal charges. Take the infamous UCLA shoplifting scandal, for example. Several student-athletes on the basketball team were suspended indefinitely pending the outcome of a case as they were accused of shoplifting in China. But when it comes to Title IX investigations, the reaction of some schools are harder to gauge.

In the absence of a specific uniform protocol, outside parties like coaches and athletic directors have the discretion to make decisions that can drastically affect your collegiate athletic career. Of course, you trust these decisions to be made in your best interest, but that isn't always the case. Your activity on the team may or may not be motivated by the desire to maintain scandal-free programs. 

Some schools have restricted the discretion of athletic figures by allowing administrators and deans to determine interim measures while students are under investigation. It's important you understand your school's rules regarding if and when you'll play. 

You Could Lose Your Scholarship 

Because of pressure from lobbyists and advocacy groups, The NCAA is cracking down on student-athletes who are found responsible for sexual misconduct. Its Committee to Combat Sexual Violence has made a pledge to become stricter about barring college-athletes who have been found responsible for sexual misconduct from receiving athletic scholarships.

College Athletes are More Likely To Be Named as Respondents in Complaints

According to an analysis by ESPN television program, Outside the Lines, college athletes are three times more likely than other students to be accused of sexual misconduct at Power 5 conference schools. The data provided that about 6.3 percent of Title IX complaints against students - whether the complaint resulted in a formal investigation or not - involved an athlete as the person accused of wrongdoing. Whether or not the student-athletes were found “responsible” for these accusations were not included in the study. 

The findings of this analysis may not be all too surprising given the countless number of high-profile cases of sexual misconduct that have surfaced involving very prominent student-athletes. Nonetheless, this information should compel you to ensure that the adjudication process is as fair as it could possibly be. 

Are You a Student-Athlete Who's Been Accused of Sexual Misconduct? Contact the Lento Law Firm

The only way to make sure your voice is heard and that your rights are protected in a Title IX investigation in Alabama to retain a student defense attorney. The assistance of an attorney-advisor is invaluable in the Title IX process, especially for respondents. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has the skill and expertise to help you effectively navigate the process. For a case evaluation or for more information about his representation, contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 today.

Alabama colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student athlete's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools:

  • Alabama A & M University
  • Alabama Southern Community College
  • Alabama State University
  • Amridge University
  • Auburn University
  • Auburn University at Montgomery
  • Bevill State Community College
  • Birmingham Southern College
  • Bishop State Community College
  • Brown Mackie College Birmingham
  • Central Alabama Community College
  • Chattahoochee Valley Community College
  • Columbia Southern University
  • Concordia College Selma
  • Enterprise State Community College
  • Faulkner University
  • Fortis College Mobile
  • Fortis College Montgomery
  • Gadsden State Community College
  • George C Wallace State Community College Dothan
  • George C Wallace State Community College Hanceville
  • George C Wallace State Community College Selma
  • H Councill Trenholm State Technical College
  • Heritage Christian University
  • Herzing University Birmingham
  • Huntingdon College
  • Huntsville Bible College
  • ITT Technical Institute Bessemer
  • ITT Technical Institute Madison
  • ITT Technical Institute Mobile
  • J F Drake State Technical College
  • Jacksonville State University
  • James H Faulkner State Community College
  • Jefferson Davis Community College
  • Jefferson State Community College
  • John C Calhoun State Community College
  • Judson College
  • Lawson State Community College Birmingham Campus
  • Lurleen B Wallace Community College
  • Marion Military Institute
  • Miles College
  • Northeast Alabama Community College
  • Northwest Shoals Community College Muscle Shoals
  • Oakwood University
  • Prince Institute of Professional Studies Inc
  • Reid State Technical College
  • Remington College Mobile Campus
  • Samford University
  • Selma University
  • Shelton State Community College
  • Snead State Community College
  • South University Montgomery
  • Southeastern Bible College
  • Southern Union State Community College
  • Spring Hill College
  • Stillman College
  • Talladega College
  • The University of Alabama
  • Tri State Institute
  • Troy University
  • Tuskegee University
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of Alabama at Huntsville
  • University of Mobile
  • University of Montevallo
  • University of North Alabama
  • University of Phoenix Birmingham Campus
  • University of South Alabama
  • University of West Alabama
  • Virginia College Birmingham
  • Virginia College Huntsville
  • Virginia College Mobile
  • Virginia College Montgomery

All students must be extremely mindful when accused of sexual misconduct at their college or university; student athletes in particular, however, can have even more concerns at all stage of Title IX proceedings because the stakes are higher yet – When first contacted by their school's Title IX office, when a sexual misconduct investigation begins, when facing a hearing or an appeal, or when seeking further recourse by filing a Title IX complaint with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights when necessary.  For student athletes in Pennsylvania who are facing a Title IX case and their families, it is critical to take the necessary precautions as soon as possible, including having an experienced attorney advisor, when accused of sexual misconduct.  Unfortunately, many student athletes and their families, not being as familiar what is at stake and also their rights in the process, will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," everything will work out.  Title IX cases can be won, but student athletes and their families must recognize, however, that achieving a favorable in a Title IX case requires a dedicated and intensive approach best handled by a professional who has a track record of successes in the Title IX disciplinary arena.

Fighting passionately for the future of student athletes at colleges and universities throughout the nation for over a decade, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that a student athlete's academic and professional future, in addition to a post-college athletic career, is on the line. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor to student athletes facing sexual misconduct investigations and disciplinary cases in Alabama and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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