March 15, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Praise Pac-12 for Addressing Athletic Transfers

Oregon Senators had Urged Conference Leaders to Make Policy Change

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today praised the leaders of the Pac-12 Conference for responding quickly to their inquiry by adopting a tougher new conference-wide student conduct policy for transfer athletes seeking to enroll at a Pac-12 university.

The two Oregon senators had urged the conference in a letter last month to consider several possible reforms, including one which would make transfer student athletes ineligible to enroll in a Pac-12 school if they’d been dismissed from a previous school for serious misconduct violations.

Under the reforms announced recently, student-athlete transfers ineligible to re-enroll at any of their previous colleges or universities will be automatically deemed ineligible to receive athletic aid from a Pac-12 university and prohibited from joining any university team. The new transfer policy will apply to student misconduct issues such as assault, harassment, academic fraud and other violations of campus behavior conduct policies.

“The Pac-12 has taken an important and much-needed step to ensure that student safety remains a paramount consideration on college campuses,” Wyden said. “This sends a strong and welcome signal as we celebrate our Pac-12 schools’ athletic accomplishments that all athletes representing their schools must meet the highest standards.”

“This new policy is an important step toward keeping college students safe from sexual assault and violence, so they can focus on what brought them to college in the first place: their education,” said Merkley. “I thank the Pac-12 for thoughtfully considering our input and for taking action that prioritizes student safety.”