ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Three former student-athletes who say they were sexually abused by a track coach on Wednesday sued the NCAA, its board of governors and the coach, alleging the governing body doesn’t do enough to protect NCAA athletes.
Erin Aldrich, Londa Bevins and Jessica Johnson are seeking class action status for the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California. The women say they were molested by John Rembao while he worked at the University of Texas and the University of Arizona.
They aim to include in the suit any NCAA student-athlete at any school since 1992 who they say were also put at risk by the inaction of the governing body.
Rembao led the Longhorns’ cross country program and was an assistant for their track team from 1997 to 2001. He was an assistant coach for the Wildcats’ track program from 1993 to 1997.
The lawsuit filed by law firms Fegan Scott and Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein says the NCAA failed to stop sexual abuse and harassment of student-athletes by coaches at all member schools.
The NCAA, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, is a member-led organization comprised of nearly 11,000 colleges and universities and nearly a half-million student-athletes competing in 24 sports.
The plaintiffs are asking for new policies to be adopted immediately regarding coach-student relationships and for compensation for those subjected to abuse because the NCAA did not implement best practices.
The filing comes in the wake of revelations at the University of Michiganalong with allegations and investigations of sexual abuse made by patients of sports doctors at other universities, including Michigan State, Ohio State and Minnesota.
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