Student Gladiators and Sexual Assault: A New Analysis of Liability for Injuries Inflicted by College Athletes

87 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2007 Last revised: 22 Mar 2012

See all articles by Ann Scales

Ann Scales

University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Date Written: October 1, 2007

Abstract

Big-time intercollegiate sports exact a toll, and not just on the bodies and graduation rates of players. There is long-standing tension between athletic programs and educators, on several grounds. Recently, universities have had to concern themselves with what appears to be an epidemic of sexual assaults committed by male athletes. Many articles focus on university problems. But what about the victims? What would it take to get the attention of universities in order to stop male athlete violence? My thesis is that equal educational opportunity for women at big-time athletics universities will not begin to become real until some courageous courts step in. This article focuses on the 2001 University of Colorado football recruiting gang-rape outrage, and argues through a hypothetical state ERA legal challenge to get to larger questions: in light of what football programs actually provide and do not provide to universities, what judicial remedies should be available when women are abused? At what point should courts intervene directly in collegiate sports programs - to enjoin changes in player and coach discipline, or even to require colleges to fire coaches, require disassociation from the NCAA, or suspend or abolish football programs?

Suggested Citation

Scales, Ann, Student Gladiators and Sexual Assault: A New Analysis of Liability for Injuries Inflicted by College Athletes (October 1, 2007). Michigan Journal of Gender & Law, Vol. 15, No. 205, 2008-2009, U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 07-39, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1027216 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1027216

Ann Scales (Contact Author)

University of Denver Sturm College of Law ( email )

2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
United States

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