Sports Law • Risk Management

No Love for Sexual Misconduct

Colby College just finished its investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct committed by fifteen of its students. Although for privacy reasons Colby College has disclosed little information, according to The Colby Echo’s article on February 8th, it is believed that football players were spying through a window to watch their teammate receive oral sex from a female student. Although the act of voyeurism did not amount to any criminal charges, the college concluded that the school’s sexual misconduct policy was violated.

The offending students’ were suspended or elected to permanently withdrawal from the university. Although these students are eligible to return to Colby and return to playing sports after their suspension has been served, it is yet to be seen whether the football coaching staff or athletics department would even consider allowing the students to return to play.

A lesson from the Colby College incident can be learned. Athletes need to be given proper guidance on what constitutes acceptable behavior. Coaches and athletic departments should include training of its athletes and staff on the rules of any institution. As part of the training, examples, like that of the Colby College incident, should be used to highlight instances where a poor decision can lead to serious consequences. It should not be assumed that all persons have the common sense and good judgment to make the best decisions. Instead athletes and staff should be educated on what behavior is unacceptable.