Investigative Reporter Paula Lavigne Discusses Outside the Lines Story [VIDEO]
As much attention as NCAA student athletes get for their play, more and more attention is being shined on their off-the-field activities. ESPN published a report that looked into 10 schools, including Auburn University, from 2009 to 2014 to see if male student-athletes avoided criminal charges more often than the average college male.
Outside the Lines reporter Paula Lavigne joined The Game on Monday to talk about the findings and why they decided to investigate the topic in the first place.
“One thing that we found, that was interesting, was looking at the number of cases involving student athletes that were never charged or if they were charged, the charges were dropped or dismissed,” Lavigne told host Ryan Fowler. “We thought it would be interesting to do this on a much larger scale.”
In the story, Lavigne gathered research from cities, courts and other sources where the 10 universities are located. However, the city of Auburn gave 32 additional reports, and in the additional reports, there were three rape allegations where no arrests were made.
“There were three reports of strong-armed rape in which we have indicated that the name of the suspect matched the name on our list of athletes,” Lavigne said. “I can tell you that on two of those reports, there was information in those reports that was able to make me feel even more confident that these are tied back to an athlete.”
Some other findings Lavigne discovered were that athletes at certain schools get out of their legal trouble more often compared to the average college male. Specifically, she reported the basketball and football players at the University of Florida and Florida State University avoided criminal charges or prosecution about two-thirds of the time.
Though there were only 10 schools investigated, Lavigne believes that other universities around the country might have similar circumstances.
“Everybody does it (schools having athletes get in trouble) but the thing you need to look at is how often do they do it and what happens when they do it and those things are very different,” Lavigne said.
You can listen to the full interview with The Game below.