Miami Football Did Right In Sexual Assault Dismissals
The campus of Coral Gables, Fla., is still reeling from the arrest of former Miami football players JaWand Blue and Alex Figueroa, who were both charged with sexual assault on July 8. The players were immediately dismissed from the team and expelled after Blue and Figueroa, both 20, admitted to intoxicating and then sexually assaulting a 17-year-old female over the July 4 weekend.
An investigation ensued into the incident after the victim filed a report with university police. The two players later confessed to Coral Gables police with both men scheduled to be arraigned on July 29.
Unfortunately in our society this sort of outcome is more an anomaly then the norm on college campuses. Many prestigious universities are failing to properly investigate such crimes. Allegations of college sexual assaults nationwide have been grossly unreported and improperly investigated. CBS News estimated that one in five college females are assaulted.
Miami Athletic Director Blake James issued a statement on the expulsion of Blue and Figueroa from the Miami campus.
“Any allegation of a sexual assault is extremely serious, and the University will not tolerate conduct that threatens the sanctity and safety of our students and our campus,” he said. “We hold all of our students — especially student athletes — to the highest standards of moral conduct."
In a time when many college campuses are failing to protect their female students from sexual assault, the University of Miami should be commended for its swift action. Investigators from the university and the Coral Gables police were able to apprehend the suspects quickly and without incident.
This tragic story sheds light on a hot button issue in the media lately. Numerous media outlets recently ran stories on the statistics of sexual assault on college campuses. According to CBS News, about 40 percent of colleges and universities reported not having conducted a single sexual assault investigation in the past five years, including six percent of the nation's largest public institutions.
In a separate report, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center estimates that for every 1,000 women attending college or university, there are 35 incidents of rape each academic year.
The nation has many resources, but these numbers point out that there needs to be more work done in protecting female college students. For every arrest story at the University of Miami, there are 10 other schools where women do not have the proper channels and outlets to share their tragic stories.
We can only hope that more universities and colleges will invoke stronger sexual assault policies to help in the prevention of such crimes and to provide resources for victims.
For those who have been affected by sexual assault, contact The National Sexual Violence Resource Center at 877 739-3895.