Gainesville, FL- Monday officials for University of Florida announced they suspended quarterback Treon Harris while police investigate allegations he sexually assaulted a fellow student.
The assault allegedly took place Sunday morning in a residence hall. WUFT reported that police were called to the dorm early Monday morning to investigate and assault, but there are few other details about the incident have been released.
Until the investigation is concluded and depending on the findings, Harris will be suspended from games and all team activities, WUFT reported.
An attorney representing told CBS Sports Harris has not been formally charged, and they don’t anticipate an arrest will be forthcoming. They also said they are cooperating with the investigation which is being conducted by Gainesville police in conjunction with the University of Florida.
In a statement UF President Bernie Manchen said:
“We have no tolerance for sexual assault on our campus. The university is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for every member of the UF community.” Manchen also said, “We must strive to protect all of our students from sexual harassment and assault, and do everything in our power to promote a safe learning environment.”
The University of Florida acted quickly, which is more than can be said about Florida State University when similar allegations surfaced against their star quarterback Jameis Winston back in 2012. Of course, Harris is innocent until found guilty, but their actions send a clear signal to other students that if they sexually assault a fellow student there will consequences.
Reports of Winston’s alleged assault didn’t surface until last fall when attorneys representing the victim spoke with the media about the treatment the victim suffered when she went to police and FSU’s administrators.
Instead of properly investigating the young woman’s claims, her attorney alleges Tallahassee police and FSU administrators intimidated the victim into rescinding her allegation. They allegedly warned her that football was big in town and she would like face repercussions for making such allegations against a star athlete.
Under pressure, the women recanted and after a hasty investigation conducted a year after the fact, Winston was exonerated by Tallahassee police. FSU is reportedly still conducting their investigation
As a consequences of their choices, FSU was listed among the 55 colleges and universities to be investigated by the Department of Education and Department of Justice for their mishandling of sexual harassment and assault cases.
In many cases, schools and universities under investigation failed to actually conduct investigations or when allegations were proved to be true, they offending student was often given a slap on the wrist. Additionally, many universities, despite being required by law, failed to disclose how many complaints of sexual harassment, assault and rape they received each year. When allegations proved to be true, the perpetrators were treated leniently and some were never punished.
Sexual harassment and assault on college campus can’t be stopped if no one takes action. Victims can need to speak out, if they feel uncomfortable doing so on their own, they can enlist a sexual harassment attorney to speak for them.