NCAA president Mark Emmert says the NCAA will keep out of any involvement related to domestic violence taking place on college campuses. According to Emmert, domestic violence is a school issue and not one the NCAA would be best-suited to be handled on a case-by-case basis by the school.
“If a student-athlete engages in bad behavior, they have to be subject to the same standards of conduct as everyone else,” Emmert told reporters Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. “The most important thing to the NCAA membership has always been that students aren’t treated in any privileged or disproportionate fashion.”
The issue of domestic violence around the sports world, especially in football circles, has become a larger focus. The NCAA is supporting a cause initiated by the White House last week to raise awareness about sexual abuse on campus. The Big Ten and Pac-12 were quick to hop on board with the movement as well. The NCAA may not be ready to weigh in on such issues in a disciplinary form, but the organization is aware of the conflicts and has released an updated handbook for schools to refer to when in need of help handling various situations.
Emmert’s comments come the week after Florida State initially suspended Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston for shouting obscenities on campus for one half against Clemson. Florida State later increased the length of the suspension for one full game, citing new information becoming available that was not originally provided. While Emmert did not specifically address the Winston suspension, he did say there are times when schools must take into account the public perception of the university when making certain decisions.
“Most universities understand that’s a reflection on the university,” Emmert said. “Universities have a lot more at stake in holding students accountable for their behavior. I wouldn’t say it’s done right all the time, but it is done right most of the time.”