Big Sky to bar athletes with history of violence

(STATS) – The Big Sky Conference announced Monday it will prevent individuals with a history of convicted violence to receive athletic-related financial aid or participate on sports teams at its member schools.

The Serious Misconduct Rule is defined as any act of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual exploitation or any assault that employs the use of a deadly weapon or causes serious bodily injury. The rule will go into effect in the 2019-20 academic year and for the conference’s prospective student-athletes beginning with the Dec. 19, 2019, signing period.

“The Serious Misconduct Rule aligns with the Big Sky’s mission to provide a quality collegiate experience for our student-athletes while focusing on their safety,” commissioner Andrea Williams said. “This rule sets the tone and expectations the conference has for its institutions. The Big Sky is taking ownership and accountability for the culture we create and reputation we project on campus, within our community and in our conference. We are most proud that this step supports the commitment that our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has already taken to address and end violence on campus.”

The Big Sky rule was created through consultation from administrators, faculty and student-athletes from member schools along with the NCAA’s Title IX office.

The conference noted that in unique and compelling cases, an institution may request a waiver of the rule. If a waiver is requested, an institutional panel of individuals outside of the athletic department will review and determine if the request warrants approval.