(Sept. 17, 2019) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) today announced a groundbreaking partnership to strengthen its zero-tolerance policy for its campus community. Working with Brenda Tracy, a sexual assault survivor, public speaker and founder of the national campaign and nonprofit, SetTheExpectation, UTSA will be the first university in the nation to implement the Tracy Rule, the most comprehensive Serious Misconduct rule in the NCAA.
The UTSA Tracy Rule, effective this semester, will attach student-athlete eligibility to behavior. The rule ensures that:
A current or prospective student-athlete who has been convicted of, pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony or misdemeanor involving Serious Misconduct, has been found a delinquent in relationship to a juvenile code equivalent, or has been disciplined by the university or athletic department at any time during enrollment at any collegiate institution (excluding temporary disciplinary action during an investigation) due to Serious Misconduct shall not be eligible for athletically related financial aid, practice or competition at The University of Texas at San Antonio.
Earlier this year, Brenda Tracy visited UTSA multiple times to discuss sexual assault and misconduct prevention. While in San Antonio, Tracy spoke with UTSA Athletics staff and student-athletes, UTSA Greek Life members, and students, faculty and staff.
“Sexual assault and misconduct are never, ever acceptable,” said Lisa Campos, UTSA Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics. “By implementing the UTSA Tracy Rule, we are letting current and prospective student-athletes know that UTSA is a community where conduct off the field is just as important as conduct on the field. This is an impactful milestone for intercollegiate athletics, and we are honored to be the first to collaborate with Brenda in this way to stand up to sexual assault and misconduct.”
Tracy has traveled the country since 2016 to share her story as the survivor of a 1998 gang rape by football players. Following her first visit to San Antonio, UTSA student-athletes, coaches and staff participated in a unified team signing of the #SetTheExpectation pledge to say that sexual assault and physical violence are never acceptable.
This fall, each new student-athlete also signed the pledge, as will continue to be the case with each new student-athlete joining UTSA’s program.
“I’m very proud of UTSA Athletics and the campus community for making student safety a priority and standing as a national leader on issues that affect every college campus in the country,” said Tracy. “Preventing campus sexual assault, relationship violence and Serious Misconduct, as defined in the Tracy Rule, requires a collaborative effort and by implementing this rule, UTSA has made a permanent and meaningful commitment to prevent violence in its community.”
An activist, advocate, citizen lobbyist, mother and nurse, Tracy has spoken to more than 80 football teams and numerous other groups, encouraging her audiences to speak out against sexual assault and physical violence and to use their platform to influence those around them to do the same.
“The courage that Brenda Tracy has shown once again gives us the strength and humility to acknowledge that a culture of misconduct exists on college campuses and we need to take meaningful action,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “No student should ever believe that misconduct will be tolerated or ignored. I am proud of UTSA Athletics for choosing to be a national leader in setting a new standard in creating this important culture.”
To support Tracy’s awareness campaign, UTSA held three #SetTheExpectation games during Spring 2019, including a softball game on April 9 in which Tracy traveled to campus to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. During her visit, she met with campus organizations and leaders to share her message.
UTSA has planned additional #SetTheExpectation games for this academic year, including the football home contest against Southern Miss on Nov. 16 at the Alamodome.
“It has been an honor to work with President Eighmy, Lisa Campos, athletics staff and student-athletes to bring the Tracy Rule to UTSA,” Tracy said. “I hope that other schools will follow their example and make student safety, accountability and transparency a priority, not just through their words but in policy reform, as UTSA has done.”
Learn more about the Tracy Rule.
Learn more about UTSA Athletics.
Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.
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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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