July 31, 2015
The following is a statement from Georgetown University regarding its Cross Country and Track and Field Program:
Georgetown University has concluded two investigations of its track program, which were conducted following reports of racial bias within the program and misconduct among members of the men’s team, which includes cross country and track and field teams.
The University’s investigations involved more than 110 interviews with current and former team members, including all current members of the men’s team, all current coaches and a number of former coaches and Athletics Department administrators. The University is grateful and appreciative to all of those who shared information with the University during the course of these two investigations.
The Office of Institutional Diversity Equity and Affirmative Action (IDEAA), which conducted the investigation into racial bias, found no racial bias in the track program. The investigation included a systematic review of equity among athletes and involved dozens of interviews with current and former team members and coaching staff, who shared passionate and informative accounts of their experiences. Every interview was valuable to providing an understanding of interactions within the program.
Georgetown has also concluded a thorough review of allegations relating to reports of hazing and sexual misconduct among members of the men’s track team. The investigation included dozens of interviews with coaches, current and former members of the track program and others with knowledge of the climate around the track program. The investigation found that inappropriate locker room behavior and the creation of offensive materials relating to unofficial team events violated the University’s policies regarding sexual misconduct, harassment, non-discrimination, and hazing. It is clear that not every student-athlete engaged in misconduct and the investigation found no wrongdoing by the coaches. Nonetheless, these behaviors and actions created a culture that is inconsistent with the University’s values and did not meet the expectations Georgetown has set for members of its community and for its student-athletes.
As a result of the misconduct investigation’s findings, and in order to build a positive culture in the men’s track team that is both respectful and inclusive, the men’s track team will be sanctioned with a mandatory, University-imposed reduction in competitive opportunities during the 2015-2016 academic year. Georgetown’s participation will be canceled in seven weekends of competitions. In lieu of competition, student-athletes’ time will be used for reflection and discernment, for mandatory training, and for dedicated efforts to building an inclusive and respectful team culture. Specific activities will include:
- Intensive, ongoing team-targeted education on respectful culture and hazing, to include group and individual training sessions.
- Continued education for all Athletics Department athletes, coaches, and staff, on respectful culture and hazing and University expectations and policies.
- Mandatory weekly meetings with team captains and coaches to discuss culture and other concerns.
- Outreach, community service and other opportunities to engage and educate students about the importance of an inclusive and respectful culture.
Moving forward, any member of the men’s track team who is found to violate University policies on hazing, harassment, or sexual misconduct will be immediately dismissed from the team and may be subject to further disciplinary action through the Student Code of Conduct. The men’s locker room will be closed to members of the men’s track team until the Director of Athletics has determined that the team culture has successfully changed.
Georgetown University believes that all members of its community have a responsibility for creating an inclusive culture where everyone is respected. The University takes seriously any reports of actions inconsistent with its values of integrity and respect for all, and expects the highest standards of behavior and professionalism from our student-athletes and all members of the University community.
Georgetown University Office of Communications