What’s the real motivation?

Note: This post has been edited from it’s original form after additional information emerged.

Say what?! Another University of Florida athlete charged with a violent crime? Sigh… why does it seem as if we’re reading about this every six months or so? Andries Dumisane Hlaselo was charged with rape and sexual assault. He was immediately dismissed from the UF track team. Hlaselo was dismissed without much question due to the extremely violent nature of the incident. Kudos for not tolerating this type of violent offense, however, the issues is STILL not being adequately addressed by the Athletic Association since intimate partner violence perpetration continues to be a common issue among athletes.

What I’d really like to see is the athletic association actually doing something proactive rather than this sweep-it-under-the-rug tomfoolery. It wouldn’t cost them anything. All they have to do is make a phone call and Peaceful Paths, the Alachua County Crisis Center, and local law enforcement’s victim advocates would all happily do all educational programming, provide resources and services, and provide referrals for free. No coordination on their part. What I hear from their silence is that it’s not about a game, or teamwork, or any of the other wonderful feel good things we usually think of when we think of team sports. It’s all about profits and image. We’ve got to look good so people continue to monetarily support our teams.

Sadly, I fear this may be the standard rather than the exception. Many universities and colleges have the similar issues. Some get it worse than others (e.g. UVA player Yeardley Love’s murder). Yet many do the same thing to educate their students and hold their athletes accountable… not much. Great strategy. Love the plan. Clearly it’s working and we should keep calm and carry on. Few, such as University of Kentucky, are actively trying to change their school’s climate and social norms. However, this isn’t the norm. THIS is the exception.

If the colleges and universities aren’t taking up the call, where can we go? I think I’ll share this with the alumni association next time they call asking for a donation. My answer is – sure. But first I’d like to see some changes.

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