The University of Tennessee has reached a financial settlement with a group of women who sued the school in federal court for the way it handled their allegations of sexual assaults by student-athletes.
According to documents obtained by ESPN, the university will pay the eight women $2.48 million.
According to a UT release, the settlement agreement specifically provides that the university is not admitting guilt, negligence or unlawful acts. UT officials said they have already spent $220,000 litigating the case and estimated that it would cost another $5.5 million if the case ended in trial. David Randolph Smith, the Nashville attorney who represents the eight women, said his clients are dismissing their lawsuit against UT.
“My clients and I are dismissing the lawsuit with prejudice and signed the settlement agreement,” Smith said in a statement. “We are satisfied that, while universities everywhere struggle with these issues, the University of Tennessee has made significant progress in the way they educate and respond to sexual assault cases. My clients and I are also convinced that the University’s leadership is truly committed to continue its exemplary efforts to create a model as it relates to sexual misconduct.
Honestly, $2.5 million split among 8 different women is not that much, however the attorney’s statement indicates that UT is taking some remedial measures.
Schools with prominent sports programs need to buckle down – it’s a new world and student-athletes shouldn’t be coddled anymore when they (allegedly) rape coeds. It isn’t enough for the Jimbo Fishers, Art Brileses and Butch Joneses of the world to stick their heads in the sand and ignore what their players are doing. They need to be charged with some oversight of their students, especially when the guys they’re recruiting are not exactly “model citizens.”