Title IX is a federal law that aims to prohibit gender discrimination against students who attend federally funded colleges and universities. This law's initial function was to establish equal opportunities for women in intercollegiate sports. But in recent years, the national conversations had about Title IX overwhelmingly concern a more prevalent form of gender discrimination - sexual misconduct.
In the wake of unrelenting advocacy efforts, national movements like “Me Too,” and an alarming rate of lawsuits, the guidelines for resolving complaints of sexual misconduct in New Hampshire higher education institutions today are clearer than ever.
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:
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% 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 facts should compel you to ensure that the adjudication process is as fair as it could possibly be. You can only guarantee fairness and due process with the guidance of an experienced attorney advisor.
You Could Lose Your Scholarship
As hard as you must work to earn an athletic scholarship, It's important you understand that a scholarship is contingent upon certain conditions. And what most student-athletes learn (the hard way) is that it's actually pretty easy for this opportunity to slip through your fingers.
All it takes is one accusation. In the past, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has been under fire for going too easy college athletes with a history of sexual violence. But due to pressure from lobbyists and advocacy groups, the association has started cracking down on athletes who are found responsible for sexual misconduct by barring them from receiving and maintaining athletic scholarships. With your scholarship at stake, it's in your best interest to get the help of a student defense attorney.
You Might Be Ineligible to Play
Higher education institutions are big on integrity. That is why when students acquire criminal charges, Mississippi colleges and universities rarely hesitate to bring down the hammer. But the waters are muddied when student-athletes are accused of sexual misconduct.
In the absence of clear and concise guidelines across the board, third parties like coaches and athletic directors are given the discretion to make decisions that can impact your collegiate athletic career. The issue of whether you will play or not will be in the hands of these parties, who may or may not be driven by the desire to maintain a scandal-free sports program.
Some schools have given coaches and athletic directors less authority by solely allowing administrators and deans to impose interim measures. This is why it's important you understand your school's regulations regarding if and when you'll play while under investigation.
Are You a Student-Athlete Who's Been Accused of Sexual Misconduct?
The only way to make sure your voice is heard and that your rights are protected in a Title IX investigation in New Hampshire to retain a student defense attorney. The assistance of an attorney-advisor is invaluable in the Title IX process, especially for student-athlete 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.
New Hampshire 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:
- Chester College of New England
- Colby Sawyer College
- Daniel Webster College
- Dartmouth College
- Franklin Pierce University
- Granite State College
- Great Bay Community College
- Hesser College
- Keene State College
- Lakes Region Community College
- Lebanon College
- Manchester Community College
- Nashua Community College
- New England College
- New Hampshire Institute of Art
- NHTI Concord's Community College
- Northeast Catholic College
- Plymouth State University
- River Valley Community College
- Rivier College
- Saint Anselm College
- Southern New Hampshire University
- St. Joseph School of Nursing
- Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
- University of New Hampshire at Manchester
- University of New Hampshire Main Campus
- White Mountains Community 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 Department of Education Office of Civil Rights when necessary. For student athletes in New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.