The Department of Education announced new federal regulations to Title IX this week that no longer require coaches and other employees at colleges and universities to report allegations of sexual misconduct.
Previous guidelines required coaches, athletic directors, faculty and residential staff to report any instance of sexual misconduct or sexual discrimination to the Title IX office or an appropriate school official without a formal complaint.
“The department is not under obligation to conform these final regulations with NCAA compliance guidelines and has declined to do so,” a document released by the Department of Education on Wednesday states.
Schools are now also responsible for responding only to incidents that take place on campus, or in off-campus locations related to university activities or controlled by the university. An allegation of sexual assault at an off-campus apartment, for example, would not be handled by the school.
Despite the changes, W. Scott Lewis, co-founder of the Association of Title IX Administrators, told ESPN that most colleges will likely continue to require coaches and other athletic department employees to report alleged sexual misconduct to Title IX officials.
“The campuses will retain the responsible employee mandatory reporter standard that they have because that’s the better practice,” Lewis said.
Northwestern athletics did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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