Indiana to keep athletes with history of sexual violence from competing

Indiana no longer will allow an athlete with a history of either sexual or domestic violence to join one of its athletic programs thanks to a new policy passed earlier this month by the university.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the policy bans "any prospective student-athlete -- whether a transfer student, incoming freshman, or other status -- who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence." Considered under "sexual violence" are domestic violence, rape and sexual assault.

Hoosiers athletic director Fred Glass, in an interview with the Star, called the policy an important step "to help protect members" of the university's community.

"I think it's new ground," Glass said. "My hope is that we're leading in this area, and maybe others will follow with, maybe not the exact same policy, but one that fits their particular institutions."

Glass said the policy includes an appeal process for a prospective athlete.

Reported cases of sexual and domestic violence involving Division I athletes have increased in recent years. The Big Ten has left it up to individual schools to decide how each wanted to handle such cases.

In 2015, the SEC adopted a proposal that prohibits its schools from enrolling any transfers who have been subject to serious misconduct at their previous college institution. The league defined serious misconduct as "sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence."