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UMBC’s attempts to suspend baseball players thwarted

Information obtained by the Retriever on Tuesday has shed new light on UMBC’s role regarding the three baseball players who were accused of raping two Towson University students in October. In an article published by the Retriever over the weekend, we stated that UMBC had allowed the three players to participate in athletic competition while having knowledge of the allegations against the students.

However, new information suggests otherwise. In a lawsuit filed against the Board of Regents of the University of Maryland system, it has become clear that not only did the school suspend the players from athletic activities, but also from all university-related activities aside from going to class.

Sometime toward the end of 2017, the University implemented interim protective measures against the alleged. All three of the players filed appeals with the school, but were denied by the Special Assistant to the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Jaclyn Stone, who in a letter stated, “If the allegations described in the letter … are true, then you do pose a substantial threat to campus.”

After the appeal was denied, plaintiffs filed for a restraining order against the university. In the memorandum of law in support of motion for temporary restraining order, the plaintiff’s lawyer stated that “[The players] season has begun in the last several weeks, and their absence from the team as a result of Interim Protective Measures imposed by the school is being noticed and spoken about.” The memorandum also claims that UMBC was acting outside of their jurisdiction, since the events occurred off campus.

The board filed a response in opposition to the order. In this response UMBC argues that “[Sexual misconduct policies] are applicable to the conduct of UMBC regardless of where, geographically, the conduct occurred.” In this order, the board argued that UMBC should be able to conduct their Title IX investigation, and said “[If the players] are found responsible for violating the Policy based on [the defendant’s] allegations of sexual assault, they may be suspended or dismissed from the university.”

But, despite efforts by UMBC, an order was delivered by the court saying “[UMBC] is hereby restrained from maintaining and/or proceeding with any sexual misconduct proceeding against the defendants”. From that point, it appears that the University had no grounds on which to keep players suspended, and they would eventually return to athletics as a result.