55 schools investigated for possible violations concerning sexual violence complaints
The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights released a list of colleges that are currently under a Title IX investigation for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints.
There are 55 schools on the list, including a number of BCS institutions: Florida State, Arizona State, Ohio State, Indiana, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State and Penn State, among others.
Title IX prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funds.
Schools that violate the law and refuse to address the problems identified could lose federal funding or be referred to the U.S. Department of Justice for further action.
"We are making this list available in an effort to bring more transparency to our enforcement work and to foster better public awareness of civil rights," Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon said. "We hope this increased transparency will spur community dialogue about this important issue. I also want to make it clear that a college or university's appearance on this list and being the subject of a Title IX investigation in no way indicates at this stage that the college or university is violating or has violated the law."
Florida State reportedly faced an investigation by the Office for Civil Rights over its handling of a case involving quarterback Jameis Winston, who was accused of sexual assault in Dec. 2012. Authorities later said that Winston would not face criminal charges in the case. Winston has denied the allegations against him. An investigation by The New York Times questioned the Tallahassee Police Department's handling of the case.