tv Unsportsmanlike Conduct CSPAN November 5, 2016 3:00pm-3:51pm EDT
culture of college sports. inaudible conversations]÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ >> good afternoon. good afternoon, everyone. we are going to get started. thank you all for being here, welcome. this beautiful fall afternoon, the great state of texas, we are excited to talk about football. it is fall, after all and i currently we have the longhorns playing texas tech. not sure what the score is.
fairly strong. we have at my alma mater against ole miss, not sure what the score was and baylor against tcu's a great football games going on. we want to talk about the intersection of football, college sports and sexual violence and sexual assault. i am from bartlett, texas, a huge football fan in a small rural town, a small football town, we went to three state the 90s so s in÷÷÷÷ football is ingrained not only in myself but the state of texas and beyond and graduated from clemson university, another huge college town. so you can imagine my cognitive dissonance every week during the fall, when i get excited about football games but at the same time being deputy director at
texas association against sexual assault i know the reality of sexual assault on campuses and i know the reality and dynamics of college courts, young men and young women going to colleges and we owe a great deal of both jessica luther and daniel solomon for the work they have done in uncovering a lot of the stories at baylor and the work that went into this book, "unsportsmanlike conduct: college football and the politics of rape". what we are going to do is i am going to have each of them introduce themselves. jessica and dan will follow up with what they are working on and we will take a couple questions from you. we will start with rick. >> good afternoon. i am rick gifford and i work alongside rose. i hail from san antonio and the work that we do is very specific
to being a voice for survivors in our state and working directly with the over 85 sexual assault programs that make up the population and geography so÷ i am excited to be here and looking forward to hearing what jessica and dan have to say. >> i am a reporter with texas monthly. i have been working with jessica for the past 14 months or so and working on that. >> the story that never ends. i am the author of "unsportsmanlike conduct: college football and the politics of rape" and texas monthly last august in 2015, opening the baylor story.
>> hi, y'all. are we okay? am going to keep talking. we are all awake now. so i want to talk a little bit about the book at the texas book festival. i went to florida state. i was born in 2 florida state football fandom. my mom and dad and i watched a lot of games, i only applied to one school. i was going to go to florida state. i was on crutches, the one thing the doctor said was don't go to the football game so of course i was like 20 and i went to the ballgame. people ask me a lot where the book came from.÷÷
it really came out of my fandom÷ and i care about the issue of sexual violence. this is a pretty well-known story but in november 2013 the quarterback at florida state, it came out he had been under investigation for sexual assault for 11 months and at that point the tallahassee police department had not done anything with the case. florida state had not been good at football for a few years. it was exciting, we had a team, to line, amazing quarterback, heisman chatter by november, chatter that we were maybe good enough to go to the national championship, it became a national story, the police department forwarded the case, 11 months later we waited to find out if he would be charged and he was not. at that point i was following
everything because i was a fan, i did not like how we covered this topic and i started to intervene.÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ it is important for me to say there are studies that suggest athletes commit more violence than other students. i don't like to talk about it like that and perpetrators of violence, we talk about it more when it involves ballplayers or basketball players, there is intense fandom around college sports. when you report on any university you learn quickly how intense that fandom is. people took care of a lot, when a player is in trouble they might impact the ability to win games so we end up talking about it a lot. that is my intervention was i
want to intervene where we are talking about it so we write about first-aid and that is a school i have written the most ÷ about, and i was asked to write this book and was nervous about doing it, that people would be mad, more than that, 21/2 years ago i thought no one will care about this when the book comes out. i am heartened to be sitting here, that the texas book festival would have me and the fact that you are here to talk about this, people show up and have this conversation over and over again, that gives me hope. the book itself is set up to look at this as a systemic issue rather than individual. that is how we consume it. one player, one coach, one university.
easy to see those things as isolated. obviously that work is important and i see that too, it was great or me to look at this on a÷÷÷÷÷ systemic level and talk about the ways this repeats over and over again. division one, division 3, money does it matter for division i football. and what coaches say or they do or do not do, how the media doesn't uncover it, the words we use, the national fleet of athletic association is with service, to push it on anyone they can. i really do try -- i argue strongly in the book this is a within the sport ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ but especially rose can talk about this is a systemic issue
outside football. we can talk about that if. i also in the book -- it was a hard book to write, the topic is hard to write on. it is bad. a lot of time it is really bad. it is important to me that the end of the book the about solutions, possible changes we could make. a third of the book, there are 13 chapters where i suggest things that could be better, that we could do better in order to make the sport better, talk about this issue better, things like i start that whole section by talking about education. i'm a huge proponent of prevention. we have been doing a lot of punitive stuff that clearly hasn't worked very well. i start out, if you make it 5
yous in, i will have gotten÷?÷÷ to read about consent but stuff like we need to hire more women everywhere but specifically within college work administration, put them in locker rooms, a lot more than they are and a year and a half ago, the top of the system, i try very hard to focus, an individual case, what happened to the one, this perpetually over and over again, over and over again, and argue those guys should be held accountable.
and at the university. it is very complicated. book does and e÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ will pass the football. and specifically highlights a lot of stuff we talk about in the book. >> in august of last year, there is a baylor football player, and no one had written about that don't seem like there is anything there. he google toed to him and tried to find information and we couldn't find anything which he state, he wasn't÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ practicing, as recently as june, expect him back on the field,
personal issues but nothing about a trial or sexual assault. and questioning it, i found a copy of the docket from clinton county that day and saw a trial about to happen so we decided to go to waco and start looking to what was going on and what we found were a lot -- the story hadn't made it into the press. his name hadn't been ported. the court reporters missed it and we started looking into it. we wrote about that and the narrative.÷÷÷÷÷ i remember google alerts and twitter alerts, and for weeks we were reporting the story nothing
came up because no one knew who he was and he published and was convicted after we published our story and suddenly those hashtags and google alerts were on fire and i would turn on espn, it was very strange because until that point we were the only ones who knew it. reporting about that has been interesting. this case was the flash point, in college, a lot of that because we too were convicted. is t harder to say -- who÷÷÷÷÷÷ telling the truth. that is a big part of how baylor ended up being at the forefront
of this story. over the past 14 months, we learned there were many other players, and investigation, schools that have these accusations of sexual assault to and to investigate them÷÷÷÷ they found a pattern of coaches handling things internally that should have been handled by different entities and this kept going on. right now baylor is very much at a flash point where there are a lot of decisions to make. they fired our head coach of the time and the athletic director, ken starr, the president, was demoted, they did an unconscious uncoupling of that relationship. applause]÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷
>> but as this has gone on, there are elements at baylor that want them back and there is what looks to be a civil war between forces at the schools that move past this and forced the school to feel their glory days were tight, the football program being what it was, there are a lot of questions. as many answers as we haven't as much we learned there are many more questions than answers in terms of what it looks like when a program decides to clean itself up. is it possible to clean it up? is it about football or the culture of the school? the leadership of the school? who is leadership? is it the president, the coach or the people who work under them to handle day-to-day positions, and other questions are hard to answer but things we
try to learn after you get past day one of the story, this is days one through 400. >> i want to add two things about baylor. one is through the unfolding of÷ august y we held in÷÷ there is a huge brouhaha, because of our reporting there was a low, early in the year a survivor wrote a blog post about her experience at baylor and it went viral and is normal response a lot of survivors started to come forward that we have been watching the presidential election, the normal things that happened when a survivor, the survivors who come forward to tell their stories, there are huge reasons these things get out there and
it is hard to do that, to be in the public in that way. very kind to survivors. really pushed everything so whe÷ hamilton released the report there was yet again a wave of news around everything and i can't remember what else i was going to say. one of the things about pepper hamilton, we are here to talk about politics of all, we are in texas, but one of the things about pepper hamilton is very clear, there was definitely failure in the athletic department and they are clear o÷ it was an institutional failure. this was not just football players doing violence on campus. not just the victims of football players when they went to
report. and an issue for all kinds of students. all kinds of perpetrators of students as well. it was important -- and it was also football. >> i want to acknowledge the work i mentioned earlier of dan and jessica because some things we do against sexual assault, we are constantly challenging reporters, challenging the media, the angle in which they report these stories, questions they ask, after reading this book and the story they put together, we were jumping for joy in our office because of the way it was handled and you write ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ to handle those
stories but what i wanted to say is we are lucky, everyone knows that, a set of statistics in regards to sexual assault would normally be for this, there were natural stats but with the institute of domestic violence and sexual assault out of the social work in austin what they found is one in 5 texas men and two in five texas women have experienced sexual assault at some point in their lifetime. that equates to 6.3 million texans. also what they found is over 90% did not report to law enforcement. my question for the panel is being the college campuses are microcosm of our society is there anything you saw with your work, and what actions or lack thereof of law enforcement
contributed to the culture of silence around these cases? a good question.÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ anytime you look at these institutions you will find people are nervous to go to law enforcement. you think about it, it is difficult to report this kind of crime. there's a lot of trauma involved and you are telling your story over and over again. you are often met with someone who is skeptical of what you are saying and they are questioning whether you are lying, the kind of thing you are trying to report. for the person who has been accused, and you can help it. you tell your story over and we again, we as a society÷÷÷÷÷ enjoy taking stories apart, you have the story 7 times, change
the details three times, and law enforcement participates, they do the same work, people get nervous about that. one of the things the institute÷ doing is creating a blueprint, you can download, obama mentioned it before, health campus police especially first responders, most of the time survivors, i am sure rick can speak to this, want someone compassionate to listen to them and hear what they have to say and they often feel they are met with indifference, we don't have anything specific but this is a common theme you hear about. this is also true with reporting to the institution at college universities as well. the fear of indifference and picking apart every little thing they say about this violent
happened.t ÷÷÷÷÷÷ >> one of the issues, investigators are trained to be skeptical. that is part of being an investigator, there is not necessarily aware of the way that trauma informs memory. investigators who were skeptical of people who suffered trauma and self reinforces the idea they will not be believed because they won't tell their story that doesn't involve direct firsthand trauma. that is an important part of why investigators do a bad job ÷÷÷÷÷ because they don't have the training necessary, to hear the same story different ways and assume it was true but the research and science indicate that is what it is. >> one of the reasons rose and i
are here is to talk about advocacy perspective, texas association against sexual assault, we didn't tell you where we are. we are in austin where the state coalition, every state in the country have a coalition like us, we work specifically to ensure no survivor gets left behind and the system and programs and folks we work with÷ across the state have the capacity to respond when a survivor makes an outcry, and this isn't a normal everyday conversation, we recognize that. we went our community to be involved in talking about these issues without it being so scary, that being said, i want to acknowledge there may be some
survivors sitting among us, and this might be triggering for you, the conversation might bring up stuff you never told anyone. please know that you are ÷÷÷÷ supportive, and need to take care of yourself and rose and myself, here for you after if you want to focus on anything at all. i want to acknowledge the fact that some of us have been through this. what i do know is almost every single one of us no one person in our lives if it is not us has been through this as well so this hits close to home.÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ on the recording sided comes from the community perspective, one thing i found interesting, working on sexual assault program, a lot of college
students were getting counseling and case management or calling hotlines and we looked at the stats and reports on campus by going to the campus website and finding how many sexual assaults were reported and we were finding 0. we were finding one. we were finding none. and that was a huge disparity and it made us step back and say why? what is happening? why are survivors not comfortable? are they afraid? to investigate, we have to meet the campuses where they were and ask what we can do to help, how can we increase capacity, what can we do to change things, your climate to wear students, if something happened to them feel supported and hopefully those reports will
go up. it is unfortunate they will go up but they will. when you look at it from the good side the campus is doing its job and the community is the one holding the campus accountable as well. >> another question i would like to hear each of your responses to. we will start with you. how do you respond to college coaches or the phantom as jessica mentions, when we have transfer athletes or whatever that have allegations and responses, if there is no criminal conviction there is nothing to worry about. what is your response to that? >> that is a tough one because i think as society in general, we may not be trained or understand how complex these issues are, so for a lot of what we found comfort and solace in knowing
whether this person was found guilty or not guilty. if they were found guilty there÷ re people feel that is an÷÷÷÷÷÷ incredible injustice and other people feel okay, we got justice, and that is how this person will be treated or represented, or if they are allowed to come back on campus, the criminal justice system, what happens a lot of times is somewhat is not adjudicated or get a conviction we have a tendency to say it didn't happen and the onus of responsibility or accountability goes back to the survivor and they are the focus now. we are a very forgiving community sometimes. if we rely on conviction rates it might disappoint us because conviction rates are very very low. again, what i think is
important, jessica talked about accountability. the ones that need to hold campuses and administrators ÷÷÷÷ accountable are students who go there as well and the community if it is a small community, lives, plays and works. be change important to remember, you would hear people talk about the jury knows better than anybody what happened, the jury has more information than anybody, that conviction magically transforms a person from not guilty to guilty. that is not how it works. the jury knew less than we did -- ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ould have to÷÷ the jurors don't know that are true. the idea that a jury and a
conviction transforms a person into guilty and that is obviously not how it works but when it comes to title ix and things like that, people refer to it as an extra legal system, they are critical of it, this is an extra place for people to be held, charged the crime and that is not what it is about, the victim has equal opportunities to access their education. when we talk about waiting to see if there is a conviction the person in school with the person still has to go to school and still have to be in class with that person and that is a hard thing for a person to live with and so it is not really, we think of it as holding the ÷÷÷÷÷ perpetrator accountable but that is not what title ix is about. is making sure victim has access
to education depending on the situation but the victim has access to education without having to be confronted with the hostile environment created by being in class with their attacker. >> if i could talk about transfer students, the thing i would like to say about transfer, this happens a lot, they transfer to a new school, having coaches as well, don't want to say this is some players but there announced two conferences, if you are dismissed from a team because you committed violence against women you cannot transfer into their program but the thing you about the next time, the moment of transfer, we should be pushing coaches and asking what are you doing for these guys, the guys you are bringing into
the community, you know they struggles, was are you doing for them now that you one of my questions about baylor, what you can help when he came into waco, going to counseling, anyone can answer that question contact us and tell us that. i would like to know what it is, i care very much for the women and what happens to them they report and once the community has taken care of them but i also think in those moments we pushing to find out --÷÷ what is the work that is being done? >> we will take questions from the audience, if anyone has a question they would like to ask the panel please come forward. >> thank you for being here. talk about the writing process.
were you in the courtroom every day? how did you decide on coverage? >> we started reporting on august 5th, we reported for ten days straight. one day when we didn't because i washed the flash the whole day. we were reporting the whole time to jury wake and went÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ selection on that monday, and at that point what the story was and we heard from a lot of witnesses we were hoping to hear from, at that point we were writing the last two days on thursday, there was intense writing and drafting and fact checking happening on those two days, we can both talk about this. we worked really well together.
i'm intensely detail oriented to the point it can be too much. dan is amazing, understanding how to tell the story of what do÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ those well in our writing so we are able to tell, dan is a phenomenal writer, we are able to tell incredibly good stories but i am nitpicking every little piece, i can tell you the dates of a bunch of things that happens but that is the thing that i do. >> it is helpful to have that detail oriented if you want to write quickly because that means the mistakes past writer attempt to make gets moved over by a ÷÷÷ diligent fact checker. >> you have done some amazing work with taylor and everything after that.
something trending was the hashtag cab, you were selling t-shirts. earlier this week, the whole letter about truth don't live. people have been reporting what will it take for baylor, some i assume are here, when will they get it?÷÷÷÷÷÷ >> never. >> good question. fans can be so intense in a way even as someone who used to be an intense fan i struggle with understanding and i try victims in the baylor case are all these women who came forward and reported a little was done for them. at this point it is 17 women, 19 players and we know that is 10%
of reported cases, part of the work i do is just reminding people, it sounds ridiculous, there are survivors and that is who we should be censoring when we talk about this and it is lost in the moment and these ÷÷÷÷of things and center over÷÷ and over again and that is what we should be talking about. >> fandom is important to people. this is the first time i left my house not wearing a cubs hat. it matters to people and it brings people together. this is an important part of communities. you have to have the walls up that the victims are not part of your community in order to sell the t-shirts, forget they were also baylor and that is an keep in mind g to÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷
but not the fun part, it is not cheering for your team or thinking you make it to the playoffs. that is the part that is harder but still part of the community. >> thank you very much for your work, really appreciate it. my question is more for rose. you said part of your work is to challenge the media, the ways in which they report, a little bit more on how you actually do that be change before i was deputy director i was a communications director and rick can speak to this, he was communications director before that. often times when there is a huge high profile story, we put out talking points so we can get on the same page, when we go to social media or things pop up in
news, things like 47-year-old teacher has sex with 12-year-old students, that is an egregious example but it happens all the time. in response to adult cases it i÷ hard to get the angle he needs to be which is why i was appreciative of the work dan and jessica did because they asked the right questions. they write a book on how to report these cases in a survivor centered way. >> that is a great question, by the way. for us, to expand on what rose is talking about, not that a 47-year-old had sex with a 14-year-old, that is rape. it is sexual assault. we need to call it that. our work with the media getting
them to reframe things. issues of sexual violence and rape, a young girl who was pregnant, that is not just an issue of teen pregnancy. and our job is to respond to th÷ media. and reporting something, to make good on survivors and report it as it truly is. that is what survivors want to hear when we use stuff like sex scandal or it was just sex, we minimize what the survivor might have gone through by not calling it what it is. that is part of the work we do.÷ >> the issue of alcohol, the contributor role is for
perpetrators and its way of framing victims. >> that is a great question, something that has been used as an excuse, these cases of sexual assault, did it cause it? not the perpetrator cause of sexual assault but we have to be careful how we frame and talk about alcohol on the college campus, that could quickly turn into blaming the victim and the perpetrator. add one thing to this, for a lot of survivors too, we really need to shift the conversation, because there are a number of survivors who might
have been underage while they were drinking and they might be afraid to come forward to report it because they were underage thinking the priority or the focus is going to be on what they did wrong versus sexual assault, that is another conversation, we found a lot of campuses are shifting how they investigate and look at that. survivors don't feel like i am going to get in trouble because i was doing something wrong and that is not what we want for survivors. >> thank you for addressing a very important topic. one thing i heard earlier that i thought was significant, you spoke briefly about how this really is.÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ we don't want to be insensitive to the victim. we want to care for the victim. we don't want to quickly and incorrectly brand somebody a
rapist. these are complicated questions and we have some journalists out there that enjoy looking at how this university blooms, look how many mistakes baylor made or harvard made, hindsight is ÷÷÷÷÷ 20/20. my very specific question, do we have something other than theater going on, do we had of public advocacy groups, institutions -- if you are a university, you are an institution of higher learning and somebody comes forward with an allegation of sexual assault here are that we 10 commandments, ten guidelines you should follow in order to thoughtfully, carefully, ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ through an ÷ investigation that respects the
concerns of both sides. any specific organization that stuck its neck out and specifically said this is the way responsible universities behave? or is it just poking at the keystone cops has they go along, and have a lot of theater? > jessica and dan could÷÷÷÷ explain. >> federal level, the office on civil rights, those are the ones putting forth guidelines, regulations, holding schools and universities accountable and regulate how they should be carried out and carried through. if you can expand on that. >> the doe does have expensive guidelines at universities, always looking it up to get it right and dedicated sites on the federal level, and organization÷
especially activists who have seen a huge wave to put forward, a lot of resources you can't access like know your i ask, and amazing resource pool that does like bullet point, the kind of stuff you are asking for, but it is complicated. as a journalist, especially for me, it is a regular thing for me. almost always when it is bad. i never hear the good. so that is part of it. something i recognize about the work i am doing. one reason i wrote the book is to say systemic things rather than harvard and i would say all at once.
there stuff out there but it is complicated. when you look at the does of ersities have a lot÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ things to meet. >> part of our job is the work i focused on, campuses across texas are adhering to the guidelines, they have questions, they can call us at the state coalition for technical assistance, make sure the policy looks good. whatever support we will provide in meeting a lot of those guidelines. >> we have a couple minutes but running , and we are÷÷÷÷ out of time. change thank you for your
excellent at journalism, and your advocacy work, it takes both. and examinations, i am thinking of fraternities as jessica mentions, some risk factors where membership and frequent at fraternity ÷÷÷÷ parties, and to commit sexual assault. the rolling stone report botched that investigation, and fraternities was when institutions are in your radar? >> that was a great question. we do a lot of work in the
college realm but also to work in other institutions such as the military, they have taken great strides and they consulted with us in getting work done there. we also have worked a lot with ÷ groups from the space-based community. we are working across the board to address these issues especially how they relate -- with closed institutions there is a different dynamic and added level of complexity but the issue of sexual violence is the same and we have to maneuver around that. >> law enforcement is important, a lding and maintaining÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷ relationship with law enforcement, giving them access to resource information, training, technical assistance and legal help is a big part of the work we do so we are committed to that and that is what we do.
>> what more do you feel can be done about sexual assault in college campuses? >> i am a big proponent of preventative education. a cultural failure our understanding of consent. i have been teaching it in kindergarten on the colleges need to be doing that kind of work but when something gets reported the focus needs to be as much on compassion as on compliance. coaches who care about this, things change, cultural issues. you can just have better men in those rooms and in those roles, it does make a difference. i met survivors, one program and one coach fostered the culture. and another coach did a great
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