NCAA board of governors seeking to change policies on athletes with a history of sexual violence

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The NCAA's board of governors plans to meet in a special session in the coming weeks to work on improving the organization's sexual violence policy.

Chairman Michael Drake said the board had a "robust discussion" about the need for new regulations in that area during its meeting Wednesday at the annual NCAA Convention. The NCAA does not currently have any rules that prohibit its member schools from accepting student-athletes with histories or track records of sexual violence.

"I think we are committed to addressing this very important issue," Drake said.

The board met Wednesday for the first time since two members of Congress called for the creation of an independent commission to review why college athletes could transfer to new schools after being suspended or expelled for sexual assault.

Rep. Donna Shalala, the former University of Miami president who is now a Democratic congresswoman, told USA Today last month that there is "no question" that the NCAA should have a personal conduct policy for its athletes. Shalala's interest came on the heels of a USA Today investigation into how sexual offenders move from school to school and continue to play sports.

Drake said the impetus for Wednesday's discussion wasn't directly related to prior reporting of congressional interest.

"This has been an active area of discussion for us over these last several months," he said.

NCAA president Mark Emmert is expected to speak Thursday evening in a 90-minute state-of-college-sports address at the organization's convention.

No date has been set for discussions about what a sexual violence policy might look like.