Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman Responds to Michigan State Scandal

Courtesy of Furman Athletics

As campuses have been flooded with doubt over their management of in house crimes, universities are having to rapidly answer questions of the protocols they have in place for the student protection. Michigan State and their issues with Larry Nasser has the spotlight shining directly on them, but every campus is now responsible for publicly showing their due diligence. 

The recent sexual abuse scandals made us ask this question: What is Furman’s policies towards sexual misconduct and athletics, and how is Furman leadership engaging with the issue?”

President Davis reveals that Furman’s leadership had a wakeup call when news broke about sexual misconduct at Baylor in 2016. “We had the senior leadership come and talk about the incidents and see if there were any holes in our system,” Davis said.

In large schools like Michigan State and Baylor, athletics play a major role in shaping and promoting the university. “Athletics in particular, generate so much revenue for those institutions. TV contracts alone give multi-million dollars a year,” Davis said. “As a result sometimes athletic departments are allowed to work outside of the student conduct systems. There have been instances where the ‘coaches will take care of the issue’ instead of going through Title IX.”

Furman does not have a stand-alone sexual misconduct policy and goes through the Title IX process.

“Every student is treated exactly the same. There are no opportunities for student-athletes to have an additional policy,” Davis said.

Buddie wants the culture of Furman and Furman athletics to be one that protects its students. “We want to protect the students. The minute you get a report, we turn it over to the police,” Buddie said.

Buddie believes that the topic sexaul misconduct on campus starts with coaches. “It starts with our people and especially our coaches,” Buddie said. “If you are recruiting a young student-athlete who you wouldn’t want babysitting your three year old, then you shouldn’t recruit them.”

On campus, both Buddie and Davis want to establish a community where individuals feel empowered to come forth and tell their stories.

“Nationwide, part of the issue is fear of coming forward because people believe there will be retaliation or nothing will happen,” Davis said. “We need to be fair and listen to their stories.

“If the culture isn’t here, then it is close, where students feel empowered to go to somebody because the proper action will happen,” Buddie said.

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