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Mark Emmert

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Petitioning Mark Emmert

Dear NCAA: My Mom Is a Rape Survivor and You Can Help

My mother and I are asking the NCAA to ban violent athletes. Please read my letter and sign our petition. Let the NCAA know that sports are NOT more important than human lives! Dear NCAA, My name is Darius Adams. I’m the son of Brenda Tracy who is a public rape survivor. It was 2010 when my mom first told me that she was raped. I was 17. We were sitting in our car in our driveway. I remember it because it was a life-changing moment for me. She didn’t tell me because she wanted to. She told me because she had to. She was trying to save my life. I was out of control at the time. I was angry and broken and I didn’t care if I lived or not. I remember her crying and struggling to get the words out “I was raped.” She apologized to me over and over and asked me not to hate her. “Please don’t be ashamed of me. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” I still can’t understand why she was apologizing to me, but after that talk, I started to see her as a different person. I saw her as someone who had been hurt, and she was just doing the best she could as a single mother with two kids. It was then that I began to turn my life around — mostly for myself, but also for my mom. I wanted her to be proud of me. I wanted to make sure that what she went through and all the sacrifices she made for me and my brother were not in vain. It was 2014 when my mother went public with her story. I wasn’t prepared. She hadn’t told me the details in 2010, but now every ugly detail was on the internet in an article by John Canzano at the Oregonian. To this day, I haven’t read it all. I can’t. I just can’t. What I do know is that my mom was drugged and gang-raped by four football players in 1998. I know that Oregon State University gave two of them 25 hours community service and Coach Mike Riley gave them a one-game suspension. I know that the police threw away her rape kit and the DA lied to her about her case. I know that Oregon State cared more about football and money than my mom. I know that my mom wanted to kill herself, and I know that she almost did. And all because other people decided that football, money and reputation was more important than me and my brother having a mother. I was scared when the article first came out. I didn’t know how people would react to us. Would they attack my mom? Would they say terrible things about her? Would I have to defend her? And what would I say? But a great thing happened. People reached out to us and they supported us. They expressed their love and gratitude for my mom coming forward and being brave enough to tell her story. I was proud of her. It was the first time I saw her happy. It was like a huge weight had been lifted off of her. I’ve heard her say more than one time, “I walked out of my prison of shame and silence that day,” and she did. I could see it. Ever since then my mom has worked hard to help others. She’s passed five laws in Oregon. She’s won numerous awards. We just went to Washington, DC where she received the National Service Courage Award from the United States Attorney General. She also changed a Pac 12 rule so that athletes with serious misconduct issues can’t transfer into our conference. She’s my hero. And that’s why I’m writing to you. I’m a college athlete, and I watch ESPN religiously. There’s a serious problem in sports. We don’t take sexual violence seriously enough. Seventeen years ago Coach Mike Riley suspended the men that hurt my mom for one game and just yesterday I saw the story about Baylor. Nothing has changed. Schools are still more worried about money and football than people’s lives. I’m a grown man now. I would never hurt a woman that way and I know that most men wouldn’t. Why are we protecting this small group of men? Why are we allowing them to destroy people’s lives? All of these victims have families and they get hurt too. I’m still dealing with what happened to my mom. We need to do something right now, and I think it starts with the NCAA creating a policy that bans violent athletes. Enough is enough. It’s been 17 years and nothing has changed. How many more years do we have to wait for something to happen? As the NCAA you have authority over many schools. YOU can change this. These schools have proven that they are not going to do the right thing. I believe it is your responsibility to step in. And please don’t do it for me or my mom. Do it because it’s the right thing to do. Sincerely, Darius Adams

Darius Adams
219,396 supporters
Petitioning Brian Merriam, Mark Emmert, Jaunelle White

Petition To NCAA To Change Decision On Evan Battey's Eligibility

Evan Battey was FORCED to take a redshirt (meaning he can't play this year) by the NCAA because of some issues he had to overcome as a young man (aged 12-13). His parent made the difficult decision to prioritize his education, took away basketball and he ended up repeating 9th grade.  BECAUSE of his mother's stance about a temporary problem 5 YEARS AGO he raised his grades, become a model student and earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Colorado. This article written by Gary Parrish of CBS Sports will give you a sense of the absolute ridiculousness of NCAA's decision. Please read the article and listen to the audio. As a result of standing in the gap for her son, he turned his academic life around and is now an excellent student and an outstanding basketball player. He is also a young man of high character. I know him personally and can attest to how great this young man is. This story by Jeff Miller of the Orange County Register from March will give you a glimpse of how special this young man is! Please take a moment to read it. This is the type of change we HOPE happens when we stand firm for our children.  As a result of the difficult choice of his parent and the repeating of his 9th grade year, the California Interscholastic Federation took away the eligibility to participate in his senior year of high school. Yesterday the NCAA declined a waiver to allow him to play his freshman season even though he is successful in the classroom. Evan Battey is a role model for how he has accepted his fate (losing three years out of the last 6) for struggling academically for a short period of time as a young teen. I strongly feel the failure to grant a waiver in spite of the overwhelming evidence that Evan Battey is primed to be a successful student because of the choices of his parent is short-sighted and tone-deaf, particularly in light of the scandals plaguing college athletics. Please sign the petition to request that the NCAA review this decision. With all of the scandal going on in their oversight of college athletics, to punish a great young man, while allowing problems going on at the blue blood programs going unpunished is frankly unjust and corrupt. How long should a young man pay for a problem he had in his early teens? You can make a difference!! Please join me in supporting Evan by signing this petition and sharing it with a message to your friends on social media to sign it, share it and tag their friends that might be willing to sign it as well.  Let's make this petition go viral!! I am looking for 1 Million Signatures on this petition.  I know, crazy right!  With your help we can get it done.  LET'S GO TO WORK!! Here are some additional articles to read about Evan's situation.      

David Cuevas
2,657 supporters
Petitioning Mark Emmert

Title IX and counting: Equal Advertisement for Female Athletes

My name is Emily, and I am a student-athlete at the University of Colorado. While participating in collegiate athletics, I have witnessed and personally experienced many harmful gender stereotypes that are used to promote my sport. Athletics and sports are a huge part of U.S. culture, media, and identity. More people are discussing how athletes are treated within our society and are represented. How often do you see a commercial, poster, or other advertisements for NCAA men’s athletics? Now compare that to how often men’s intercollegiate sports are promoted to women's intercollegiate sports. Since Title IX has passed there has been a major increase of female participants in athletics. Research shows that “40 percent of all sports participants are female”, yet women’s sports receive only 4 percent of all sports media coverage. There are many successful female student-athletes competing today, and not all of them are being promoted. When these athletes and sports are being promoted, it often encompasses gendered stereotypes and negative labels that can be detrimental to one's mental health. About 30 percent of female student-athletes show signs of depression, compared to just 18 percent of their male counterparts. No one wants their daughter, sister or friend to be negatively impacted by the media to the point where it affects their mental health and ultimately their ability to perform in their sport. When the female athletes are promoted by either the NCAA or the university directly, they often face negative gender stereotypes unconsciously perpetuated by the media. These stereotypes lead to different levels of inequality for female student-athletes in particular. Step one: Promote female intercollegiate athletics. The more female athletics are promoted, the more popular they will be Step two: Stop sexualizing this promotion of female athletes because it can lead to mental health issues Step three: Speak up and take action when you see gender stereotyping in collegiate athletics Please join me to support female student-athletes by signing this petition!

Emily DeMure
318 supporters
Petitioning Mark Emmert

NCAA: Adopt Comprehensive Athlete Violence Policy To End Violence Against Women

View Athlete Violence Policy The Drake Group examined current issues related to collegiate sport sexual and other violence, concluding that (1) no uniform approach exists at any level of policy making to deal with the issue, (2) athlete sexual and other physical violence is condoned by an unacknowledged collegiate athlete subculture that neither educational sport leaders nor college presidents have addressed, and (3) institutions of higher education are frozen by self-interest, hence unlikely to address such violence unless immersed in a media or legal crisis, in which case they act alone. Neither the NCAA nor other national collegiate athletic governance associations have confronted this issue in a way that will deter such violent athlete behavior for the long term. Athletes, especially the most talented prospective and enrolled athletes, must receive the message that violent behavior will not be tolerated. Institutions must impose consistent penalties that will deter such serious misconduct. Too many institutions have knowingly enabled athlete sexual and other violence by providing pro bono legal assistance to alleged perpetrators (assistance not provided to other students, including victims), obstructing investigations or judicial proceedings, encouraging and/or paying for women to sexually engage with recruits, providing public relations assistance, intimidating or blaming victims, imposing weak penalties inconsistent with the treatment of non-athletes and/or using their influence with campus and local police departments to reduce the possibility of formal criminal charges. The Drake Group analyzed the violence issue and made ten recommendations including detailed proposals that would prohibit the recruiting and athletic eligibility of athletes committing acts of sexual or other violence. See the full Position Statement and Recommendations: Institutional Integrity Issues Related to College Athlete Sexual Assault and Other Forms of Serious Violence.

National Coalition Against Violent Athletes
80 supporters