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Why Expanding the Tracy Rule is Crucial for Real Change

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

Recently Slippery Rock University adopted the Tracy Rule for evaluating potential athletes. The Tracy Rule was named after a survivor who was assaulted by a group of athletes at her university over twenty years ago. Since then Ms. Tracy has been a speaker and advocate on the subject of athletes and sexual misconduct.

The Tracy Rule outlines specific procedures universities should follow for evaluating prospective athletes backgrounds and disqualifiers for those who have been administratively or criminally disciplined for sexual misconduct.

It should be a no brainer that athletic departments have a detailed vetting procedure for potential athletes, however, that is not generally the case. Why is it limited to athletes?

Because sexual predators are generally repeat offenders. Expanding the Tracy Rule is crucial for real change to take hold.

What should the vetting process be for incoming athletes under Tracy’s Rule?

  • I would like to see a form of the Tracy Rule used for vetting anyone receiving a university scholarship or applying for a university resident assistant position with specific attention being paid to transfer students.

  • Expand it to anyone applying to be a counselor, school counselor, coach, and teacher.

  • Apply it to youth sports vetting of volunteer coaches, to youth ministers, athletic trainers, teachers, doctors, adults who change teaching jobs; priests and clergy who relocate and anyone working with youth.

How often do we hear of a youth sports coach who had been under suspicion in a previous community, or a priest who is moved to a different church following claims of sexual misconduct? I have personally worked criminal cases with every group I have suggested applying the Tracy Rule to. How many assaults could be prevented, and how many people could be spared the trauma of being targeted by someone that could have been vetted if the Tracy Rule were to be expanded?

Read about the impactful sexual assault and bystander awareness programs No Zebras Productions is bringing to college campuses that address the Campus Save Act and Title IX



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