Suspension of Aggies coaches illustrates it’s time women are treated better

The actions of two Texas A&M assistant football coaches can’t be overlooked, not now, not in a day and age where sexual assault by male athletes against women has taken midfield.

That’s why Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin acted swiftly in suspending offensive line coach Jim Turner and tight ends/special teams coach Jeff Banks for two weeks without pay.

The two were in charge of the Texas A&M’s Talk Chalk for Women where coaches talked about the fundamentals of the sport. More than 700 were in attendance.
The slide show used sexual terms to illustrate blocks and other parts of the sport.

Some argue the punishment wasn’t severe enough considering the Texas A&M hymn was rewritten with lyrics that brought women out of the kitchen and stated they were putting down their Lysol.

And perhaps they’re right, but that’s a conversation for another day.
This is an attempt to get people to understand why a football program had to take a stand on this one.

Because it’s time a head coach demanded more of his staff.

A few miles north of Bryan/College Station is Waco, the home of Baylor University. The board of regents terminated the Bears’ successful head coach, Art Briles, in May because of the numerous reports of sexual assault on campus and the belief the football staff knew what was happening and protected its own players and program instead of looking out for the victims.

At Stanford, All-American swimmer Brock Turner was found guilty of raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster outside of a frat party.

Florida State agreed to pay Erica Kinsman $950,000 to settle a Title XI lawsuit she filed. Kinsman said she was raped by former star quarterback Jameis Winston. The sum, which included attorney fees, is the largest settlement for Title XI claims regarding indifference to a student’s reported sexual assault, according to reports.
And it’s not just football players or swimmers who are accused.
At Missouri star basketball player Michael Dixon Jr. was accused of rape but charges were dropped because of “insufficient evidence,” according to reports.

I could list many more incidents across the country that include Division I programs and campuses for minorities.

What’s staggering is that 54 percent of male sports players admitted to “sexually coercing” a woman. Sexual coercing meets the legal definition of rape, according to reports. That includes forcing a partner to have sex without a condom and using physical force or threats to commit rape.
And what’s worrisome is that some believe the number is actually higher.

That’s why self-defense classes for women around the U.S. are being offered free of charge. And instructors can quote more statistics to their students as a way of encouraging them to learn the techniques, practice them and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

The joke a couple of years ago was on Texas head coach Charlie Strong’s Core Values that include respecting women.

I agree that much of his Core Values are common sense. And yet at Big 12 Media Days, the constant two words spoken by many of the coaches were core values. They meant they are emphasizing to their players and everyone in their program they all need to make better choices, give back to their campuses and communities, and hold each other to a higher standard.

That’s why Sumlin acted quickly. It’s vital that head coaches set the tone with their assistant coaches. Because if head coaches don’t, then what message does that send to their players?
That’s why this incident isn’t something that should be forgotten about in two days. That 54 percent is staggering and frightening and demands we remember.

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One Thought to “Suspension of Aggies coaches illustrates it’s time women are treated better”

  1. A R Fierro

    Very good story.

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