Friday, October 28, 2016

[142] Activist speaks out against sexual assault Oct. 19 at MTSU

MURFREESBORO — An advocate for sexual assault survivors will tell her story at MTSU.

Brenda Tracy, who says she was drugged and gang-raped by four men, including two Oregon State University football players, in 1998, will deliver three addresses on campus Wednesday, Oct. 19, in the Wright Music Building. A printable campus parking map is available at

The general session, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. Tracy will conduct separate sessions for male athletes from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and for female athletes from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m.

Tracy says she was assaulted in the early morning hours of June 24, 1998. Traumatized, Tracy initially declined to talk to police, then decided to go through with the rape examination and later commit suicide, according to The Oregonian newspaper. She says the nurse who administered the exam convinced her not to kill herself.

Oregon police charged two Oregon State football players, a high school football recruit and a community college player with multiple counts of sexual assault. However, Tracy said she received such enormous backlash from the community, including death threats, that she dropped the charges.

One of Tracy’s two adult children, Darius Adams, only learned of his mother’s story in 2014. Dissatisfied with Oregon State’s decision to suspend its players for one game, Adams wrote a letter to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, urging the governing body of major collegiate sports to ban violent athletes, and posted it at in 2015.

“It’s been 17 years and nothing has changed,” wrote Adams. “How many more years do we have to wait for something to happen? As the NCAA, you have authority over many schools. YOU can change this. These schools have proven that they are not going to do the right thing. I believe it is your responsibility to step in.”

In June, Tracy spoke to the football team of the University of Nebraska, where Mike Riley, who was head coach at Oregon State at the time of the allegations, now coaches. She spoke at Riley’s invitation, according to the Washington Post.

Before addressing the Cornhuskers football team, Tracy spoke with Riley behind closed doors for about an hour, she told the Omaha World-Herald. The newspaper reported that she told the team, “It’s OK to be accountable. It’s OK to say you’re sorry.”

Tracy posted a photograph of Riley with her on her Twitter account with the message “This is what accountability looks like. #Huskers #Riley.”

Tracy’s appearance is sponsored by MTSU, the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, MTSU Athletics, Institutional Equity and Compliance, the Distinguished Lecture Fund and Sigma Pi Fraternity.

For more information, contact Barbara Scales, director of the June Anderson Center, at 615-898-2193 or

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