Student-Athletes Accused of Title IX in Illinois

Most colleges and universities in the state of Illinois adhere to a federal law known as Title IX. Its primary function since its enactment in 1972 has been to resolve gender-related discrimination issues in higher education. Throughout the years, Title IX has been applied in a wide span of cases - to fix the disparity in opportunities for intercollegiate women athletes to the establishment of rights for pregnant women on campus. But recently, the law is addressed due to a much more pervasive issue: sexual misconduct. 

When statistics revealed how rampant sexual assault and harassment had become in higher education, the nation was taken aback. It seemed like every day there was a new story about a student who had fallen victim to a perpetrator and received little to no retribution despite informing the school of the incident. Many college's lethargic responses to student concerns, as well as impactful movements like “Me Too” and “Time's Up, influenced the federal government's decision to require schools to promptly and fairly adjudicate cases of sexual misconduct. If higher education institution's drop the ball, they're met with the threat of having their federal funding stripped

When you're accused, or otherwise named as a “respondent” in a Title IX case, you're already in for an uphill battle throughout the Title IX process. But yet another level of complexity is hurled into the process when you are a student-athlete. Allegations will not be taken lightly, and the stigma that accompanies the role of a respondent party will single-handedly turn your college and athletic experience upside down. To successfully navigate the Title IX process as a student-athlete and achieve due process, you absolutely need the help of an attorney-advisor. Here's why:

You Might Be Suspended Pending an Investigation

Illinois institutions, as well as other colleges and universities in states across the country, won't hesitate to bring down the hammer when their students acquire criminal charges. Take the story of Kendrick Nunn, a University of Illinois guard on the basketball team who was indefinitely suspended after his arrest for domestic battery. But the nature of Title IX investigations seems to generate a more unpredictable response from schools. 

In the absence of specific guidelines, third parties like coaches and athletic directors have the discretion to make decisions that can drastically affect your collegiate athletic career. In many ways, the exposure of a student-athlete is solely in the hands of an athletic director, who may or not be motivated by the desire to maintain scandal-free programs.

 Some schools have tried to resolve this issue by allowing administrators and deans to determine interim measures while under investigations rather than a coach or an athletic director. It's important you understand your school's rules regarding if and when you'll play while under investigation. 

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 Title IX 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. 

Contact the Lento Law Firm Today

The only way to make sure your voice is heard and that your rights are protected in a Title IX investigation in Illinois to retain a student defense attorney. The assistance of an attorney-advisor is invaluable in the Title IX process, especially for respondents who are student-athletes. 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.

Illinois 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:

  • American Academy of Art
  • American InterContinental University Online
  • Argosy University Chicago
  • Argosy University Schaumburg
  • Augustana College
  • Aurora University
  • Benedictine University
  • Black Hawk College
  • Blackburn College
  • Bradley University
  • Carl Sandburg College
  • Chamberlain College of Nursing Illinois
  • Chicago State University
  • Christian Life College
  • City Colleges of Chicago Harold Washington College
  • City Colleges of Chicago Harry S Truman College
  • City Colleges of Chicago Kennedy King College
  • City Colleges of Chicago Malcolm X College
  • City Colleges of Chicago Olive Harvey College
  • City Colleges of Chicago Richard J Daley College
  • City Colleges of Chicago Wilbur Wright College
  • College of DuPage
  • College of Lake County
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • Concordia University Chicago
  • Danville Area Community College
  • DePaul University
  • DeVry University Illinois
  • Dominican University
  • East West University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Elgin Community College
  • Elmhurst College
  • Eureka College
  • Fox College Inc .
  • Greenville College
  • Harper College
  • Harrington College of Design
  • Heartland Community College
  • Hebrew Theological College
  • Highland Community College
  • Illinois Central College
  • Illinois College
  • Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Frontier Community College
  • Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Lincoln Trail College
  • Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Olney Central College
  • Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Wabash Valley College
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Illinois State University
  • Illinois Valley Community College
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • International Academy of Design and Technology Chicago
  • ITT Technical Institute Mount Prospect
  • ITT Technical Institute Oak Brook
  • ITT Technical Institute Orland Park
  • John A Logan College
  • John Wood Community
  • Joliet Junior College
  • Judson University
  • Kankakee Community College
  • Kaskaskia College
  • Kendall College
  • Kishwaukee College
  • Knox College
  • Lake Forest College
  • Lake Land College
  • Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Chicago
  • Lewis and Clark Community College
  • Lewis University
  • Lexington College
  • Lincoln Christian University
  • Lincoln College
  • Lincoln Land Community College
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • MacCormac College
  • MacMurray College
  • McHenry County College
  • McKendree University
  • Methodist College of Nursing
  • Midstate College
  • Millikin University
  • Monmouth College
  • Moody Bible Institute
  • Moraine Valley Community College
  • Morrison Institute of Technology
  • Morton College
  • National Louis University
  • North Central College
  • North Park University
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Northwestern College
  • Northwestern College Southwestern Campus
  • Northwestern University
  • Oakton Community College
  • Olivet Nazarene University
  • Pacific College of Oriental Medicine Chicago
  • Parkland College
  • Prairie State College
  • Quincy University
  • Rend Lake College
  • Richland Community College
  • Robert Morris University Illinois
  • Rock Valley College
  • Rockford Career College
  • Rockford College
  • Roosevelt University
  • Saint Augustine College
  • Saint Xavier University
  • Sanford Brown College Collinsville
  • Sanford Brown College Hillside
  • Sauk Valley Community College
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Shawnee Community College
  • Shimer College
  • South Suburban College
  • Southeastern Illinois College
  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Southwestern Illinois College
  • Spoon River College
  • Taylor Business Institute
  • Telshe Yeshiva Chicago
  • The Illinois Institute of Art Chicago
  • The Illinois Institute of Art Schaumburg
  • Trinity Christian College
  • Trinity College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Trinity International University
  • Triton College
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Springfield
  • University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  • University of Phoenix Chicago Campus
  • University of St Francis
  • VanderCook College of Music
  • Vatterott College Quincy
  • Waubonsee Community College
  • Western Illinois University
  • Westwood College Chicago Loop
  • Westwood College Dupage
  • Westwood College O'Hare Airport
  • Westwood College River Oaks
  • Wheaton College

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 Illinois 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 Illinois 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.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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