A “respondent” in a Title IX case is a person who has been accused of sexual misconduct. There's a stigma attached to being a respondent that often warrants premature judgment on all fronts. 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're More Likely to be Named as a Respondent
Merely being a student-athlete substantially increases the odds of you being named as a respondent in a Title IX case. In fact, according to an analysis posted by ESPN, college athletes are three times more likely than other students to be accused of sexual misconduct. The findings revealed that about 6.3% of Title IX complaints against students - whether the complaint resulted in a formal investigation or not - involved an athlete as a person accused of wrongdoing. The rate of which the student-athletes were found responsible was not included in the study.
If you haven't been living under a rock then you probably aren't too shocked by these statistics given the high number of high profile cases that surface almost on a daily basis. Nonetheless, this information should urge you to make sure that the Title IX process is as fair as it can possibly be. An experienced criminal defense attorney can level the playing field for you.
You Could Lose Your Scholarship
After pressure from lobbyists and advocacy groups, the NCAA is finally starting to get serious about stripping scholarships from student-athletes who are found responsible for sexual misconduct. A committee created by the program, known as “Committee to Combat Sexual Violence” has made a pledge to show student-athletes who commit sexual misconduct that they aren't welcome in the NCAA.
You Might Be Suspended Pending an Investigation
Colleges and universities are big on integrity, and they expect their students to represent them in the highest regard. This is why Alaska colleges and universities don't hesitate to bring down the hammer when their students acquire criminal charges. Take the infamous UCLA shoplifting scandal for example. A couple of students on the basketball team admitted to stealing a few items while in China, and they were suspended indefinitely for it.
But when it comes to Title IX investigations, schools react more unpredictably. In the absence of specific uniform guidelines, outside parties like coaches and athletic directors can make decisions that can drastically affect your athletic career. Many student-athletes end up in a predicament where the future of their athletic career is in the hands of a coach, who may or may not be motivated by the desire to maintain scandal-free programs.
Do You Need Legal Help? 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 Alaska 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.
Alaska 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:
- Alaska Bible College
- Alaska Pacific University
- Charter College Anchorage
- Ilisagvik College
- Prince William Sound Community College
- University of Alaska Anchorage
- University of Alaska Fairbanks
- University of Alaska Southeast
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 Alaska and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.