MU and swimmer will be subject of ESPN report Sunday
Featured as part of a discussion on college athletes and mental health
Saturday, January 25, 2014
The University of Missouri athletics department will be the subject of a report Sunday morning on ESPN.
As part of the “Outside the Lines” program, a piece on former Missouri swimmer Sasha Menu Courey will air on ESPN at 8 a.m. Sunday. Courey, who committed suicide in June of 2011, is featured as part of a discussion on college athletes and mental health.
Menu Courey, a native of Canada, killed herself by ingesting 100 Tylenol pills while she was in a Boston hospital for treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The piece asserts her hospitalization for BPD was caused in part because of an alleged rape of Menu Courey, possibly by one or more members of the Missouri football team in 2010.
The athletic department comes under scrutiny in the piece for not investigating the case or alerting law enforcement officials about it, despite finding out about the alleged assault more than a year ago. A story and video about the case is available online at espn.go.com/otl.
Menu Courey shared her story with a rape crisis counselor and campus therapist some time after the alleged assault, then later with a campus nurse, two doctors and others, according to ESPN.
While most professionals in the healthcare industry are usually exempt from having to report such crimes due to privacy laws, the situation is more cloudy when it comes to those on college campuses. Title IX, the law that is most often associated with providing equal athletic opportunities for females as males, also covers issues of sexual violence. It says in those cases, once a school know about such incidents, it must take “immediate and appropriate action” to investigate. The story alleges the University of Missouri has been lax in doing so in this case.
The university denies it knew anything about the alleged rape.
“No one on the coaching staff (the previous staff was here in February of 2010), and no one in our administration nor any staff members, were to the best of our knowledge, ever told about this event while Sasha was alive,’ Chad Moller, the Missouri associate athletic director for communications, wrote in a letter to ESPN. ”Had Sasha told any of our staff that she felt she had been assaulted, we expect that our staff would have reported it immediately to the proper authorities.”
The university said Moller’s letter, online at mutigers.com, will be its lone comment on the report.
The ESPN report online, which was posted Friday, said the incident has not been reported to campus police, according to University of Missouri Police Capt. Brian Weimer, and both the Columbia Police Department and Boone County prosecutor’s office deny receiving any reports.
The university previously faced scrutiny because of sex crimes when the football team’s star running back, Derrick Washington, was convicted in 2011 of felony sexual assault of an athletic department tutor. In addition, Michael Dixon, a guard on the basketball team, transferred to Memphis University after being removed from Missouri’s team due to a violation of team rules. Though no charges were filed, Dixon was twice accused of sexual assault while at Missouri.
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