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Allegations of sex offenses plague college sports

When the media reports yet another accusation of sexual misconduct against a college athlete, many in Florida are not surprised. Such stories have dominated the news in recent years, leaving many to question the integrity of the young men who choose to pursue an athletic career while also earning a college degree. This is an unfortunate thing, however, as many of those charged with sex offenses are eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.

Such may be the case for Treon Harris, a backup quarterback for the University of Florida. He has been suspended from campus and from all team activities after a recent accusation of sexual assault. Few details have been released about the claim of wrongdoing, but reports indicate that another student claims that Harris assaulted her in a dormitory in the early morning hours following a recent win by the Gators. Harris played a key role in that win.

Once the assault claim was made to school officials, a local police forensic team was called in to gather evidence and assess the situation. Harris has procured an attorney, but no details have been shared concerning the incident or the relationship between Harris and his accuser. In recent months, stories of abuse and assault by athletes have been a focus in the news, with several high-profile cases in which assault or abuse seems to have taken place. The University may have taken the step of suspending Harris from all school activities in an effort to avoid media and public scrutiny of how such allegations are handled.

As this case moves forward, additional details may be released. For those in Florida who are unsettled by this most recent set of allegations, it is important to remember that many similar accusations of sex offenses are eventually found to be false. Unfortunately, for those college athletes who are cleared of these claims, the damage to their reputation lingers for many years to come.

Source: Reuters, "Another top Florida university quarterback accused of sex assault", Barbara Liston, Oct. 6, 2014

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