Texas A&M University and its athletic department are facing significant criticism for their handling of two separate sexual assault allegations against two Aggies student-athletes.
According to these reports by Today and Time, Texas A&M suspended a swimmer and a football player after each was accused of sexual assault, only to reinstate them to their respective teams shortly thereafter.
Within the last week, two female students have shared on Twitter both their assault experiences and Texas A&M’s response to them.
Hannah Shaw shared the ruling she received after reporting her assault. A Texas A&M swimmer was found responsible for one assault charge, suspended for six months, and then allowed to rejoin the team.
— concussed hannah (@hannahslol) June 13, 2018
When Shaw pressed the Aggies athletic department as to why the swimmer was allowed to rejoin the team, she received this response:
Me: I’m unhappy the boy who r*ped me is back on the swim team
Texas A&M: pic.twitter.com/PJROvrdURb
— concussed hannah (@hannahslol) June 7, 2018
Another Texas A&M student, Meghan Romere, who worked as a tutor for student-athletes, shared her story in the tweet below. She states the sexual assault occurred during a session in which she was tutoring a football player for the Aggies, who was suspended but reinstated to the team a short time later.
Hi Twitter. I don’t tweet often, but when I do, I really mean it. Sharing this has taken me over a year and a half, but I’m tired of waiting for @TAMU to step up. Please please share this. It’s time to do something. pic.twitter.com/grEvQ1sVzR
— Megs (@MeghanRomere) June 12, 2018
Romere claims Texas A&M “failed” her as well as “each and every vulnerable student that walks across your campus.” She also writes that the university’s “precious athletic program means nothing if it represents a university that is rotting from the inside out” and that the “administration at Texas A&M has a priority problem.”
In response to the outrage, Texas A&M released this statement on the allegations, emphasizing that it “investigates every claim of sexual misconduct. When violations are confirmed, sanctions are imposed in all cases. A conduct review panel comprised of staff members determines sanctions on a case-by-case basis in consultation with all parties. All persons involved have the right to appeal.”
Further, the statement reads, “students found responsible for sexual misconduct are given sanctions, which may include suspension and/or dismissal. Usually students who are suspended return on a probationary status and have additional requirements to perform. If performed then student privileges are reinstated unless of course further misconduct occurs … Regarding student-athletes, they must adhere to the same Code of Conduct investigative process required for all students.”
SEC Country will bring you updates to this story.