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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
219,401 supporters
Petitioning Ncaa

Move the Big Ten Football Championship out of Indianapolis

On March 26, 2015, Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence signed into law a bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against members of the LGBT community under the guise of "religious freedom." This is terribly concerning news to me, not only because I used to live in Indiana, but because I have great friends that still live there. I’m not going to stand by when my friends might face serious harm and hurt. I think that Indiana needs to be told that it must respect all persons regardless of sex, age, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation. As a football fan, I think we can send a message by calling on the NCAA and Big Ten Conference to take a stand. Since Indianapolis is home to the NCAA’s headquarters and the Big Ten Conference Football Championship, I’m asking them to move the 2015 Football Championship Game out of the state of Indiana. The NCAA has recently expressed concern about the legislation, highlighting how it could negatively affect student-athletes and its own employees. Its leadership stated that they’re evaluating how the bill could affect a lot of its future operations and events. I am confident that we can push the NCAA to make this happen. Governor Pence’s decision is going to impact Indiana’s citizens’ lives in a potentially profound and destructive way. I respect people who want to express their religious freedom. However, I won’t stand for a situation that legalizes potential discrimination. Let’s send a message to Gov. Pence by urging the NCAA -- a big state employer -- and the Big Ten Conference to move the Championship Game to another state.

Sean Burke
14,859 supporters
Petitioning NCAA, Big Ten Conference

Demand the NCAA review the officiating of the Michigan Ohio State Game

Three officials from the Michigan at Ohio State game have a rather odd history about them. Attached are three different legitimate and credible links pertaining to each official. Daniel Capron (lead official), Kevin Schwarzel (Back Judge), and Bobby Sagers (Side Judge) are the three officials under the scope. Perhaps the most important story is the one behind referee Kevin Schwarzel. He was an Ohio State fan growing up, AND WAS NOT ALLOWED TO OFFICIATE THE 2006 MICHIGAN AT OHIO STATE GAME EVEN THOUGH HIS CREW DID. This was simply because of his history of being an Ohio State fan. SO WHY WAS HE ALLOWED TO OFFICIATE THIS YEARS GAME? The Big Ten Conference and the NCAA have some explaining to do. Regardless of who you are a fan of, this does not look good. What if this happens more often than we think? Chances are great that it does.... Now regarding the game itself, Ohio State only had 2 penalties resulting in 6 yards the entire game. Forget about that extremely questionable spot, that no call pass interference on Michigan's final offensive possession was downright terrible. There are no excuses for that missed call. That clearly had an impact on the game..........Now i could go on and on about so many more things, but it's time I end this and let you all do the work. Let the NCAA know what needs to be done in order to sustain a fair and competitive football game!    

Connor VanDenBerg
10,093 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States, NCAA, Texas Governor, Lawrence Shovanek, Dr. Michael Galyean, Kirby Hocutt, Chad Weiburg

Legalize throwing tortillas in Texas Tech University's Jones AT&T Stadium

In 1989, it was noted that Texas Tech fans would throw their drink cup lids on the field during kickoff. Come 1992, Texas A&M was coming to Lubbock for a huge rivalry game, and a sportscaster noted that all there was here in Lubbock was Texas Tech and a tortilla factory. With that in mind, students began raining tortillas onto the field during games, and a new tradition was born. However, the NCAA and Tech administration has tried to squash this new culture by invoking penalties for such actions and pushing a ban on tortillas at the stadium. This is a xenophobic action to prevent the spread of the tortillabro culture from our great Red Raider nation and to silence our traditions and practices dating back to the beginning of time and the founding of the Matadors, who used to only eat tortillas. We throw them on the field to symbolize feeding the matadors, to power our team to glory. As the restriction on the tortilla tossing has increased, our production has decreased. Additionally, tortillas are completely harmless, and realistically there's enough wasted downtime with televised football that the time spent picking them up is but a drop in the bucket. I think we can compromise with the NCAA and Texas Tech administrators if not fully move to continue this sacred Texas Tech tradition. Our tortillas cannot block out the sun if we cannot throw them.  This petition might be Texas Tech's problem, but it goes beyond that. College football and universities as a whole revolve around tradition. The thing that makes going to college in the United States special is the unique identity and flavor of each school, as you assume your place into that family. Nobody should be robbed of their culture. Texas A&M and the University of Texas had an issue with the Aggie Bonfire, in which students were killed when the massive fire collapsed due to sabotage. However, in spite of actual fatalities during a massive fire, the Bonfire lives on. Why can't Texas Tech have something as harmless as throwing tortillas in our stadium? Make Texas Tech great again.   Edit: it has come to my attention that some of my research or wording is slightly off or what have you, but the errors involve the emphasis and have no bearing on the message nor the drive for change we are pushing. 

Red Raider
7,629 supporters