In today's societal climate, Montana colleges and universities are mindful that their handling of Title IX cases involving sexual misconduct could tarnish a reputation they've worked incredibly hard to build. Lethargic responses to sexual misconduct aren't acceptable, so institutions have made a point to avoid coming off as if they aren't taking the matter seriously. Not merely because actually caring is the right thing to do, but because of the looming threat of losing federal funding. This is an understandable move on the school's part, but an effort that puts accused student-athletes in a volatile predicament.
Being a student-athlete who has been accused of sexual misconduct or otherwise named as a respondent in a Title IX case will turn your college experience upside down. Allegations will not be taken lightly, and the stigma associated with accusations of this nature will invoke premature judgment from your classmates, friends, family, and the general public. To successfully navigate your school's process and maximize your chances of achieving true due process, one thing is for certain: you need the guidance of a student defense attorney. Here are some reasons why:
College Athletes are More Likely to be Named as Respondents in Title IX Complaints
Being a student-athlete already significantly increased your chance of being accused. In fact, according to a study conducted by ESPN's “Outside the Lines,” college athletes are actually three times more likely than other students to be accused of sexual misconduct. The data provided that about 6.3% of Title IX complaints against students 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.
You Might Be Suspended Pending the Investigation
After you've been accused of sexual misconduct, your school will conduct a fact-finding investigation. Throughout the course of this investigation, a series of interim measures may be imposed until a determination is made. Of the most detrimental interim measures for student-athletes is suspension from the team.
In the absence of specific uniform protocol and guidelines regarding who imposes interim measures, outside parties like athletic directors and coaches have the liberty to make decisions that will affect your athletic career. In a perfect world, you'd trust that these decisions are made in your best interest, but unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Many athletes learn the hard way that their ineligibility to play may or may not be rooted in the desire to maintain scandal-free programs.
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.
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 Montana is 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.
Montana 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:
- Blackfeet Community College
- Carroll College
- Chief Dull Knife College
- Dawson Community College
- Flathead Valley Community College
- Fort Belknap College
- Fort Peck Community College
- Little Big Horn College
- Miles Community College
- Montana State University
- Montana State University Billings
- Montana State University Great Falls College of Technology
- Montana State University Northern
- Montana Tech of the University of Montana
- Montana Tech College of Technology
- Rocky Mountain College
- Salish Kootenai College
- Stone Child College
- The University of Montana
- The University of Montana Western
- University of Great Falls
- University of Montana Helena College of Technology
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 Department of Education Office of Civil Right when necessary. For student athletes in Montana 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 Montana and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.