University of Wisconsin Athletics launches safety study

Feb. 28, 2018

MADISON University of Wisconsin athletics officials have launched a study into safety and security policies in the aftermath of sexual assault allegations at Michigan State.

Walter Dickey, the special assistant to the university's athletic director, told the Wisconsin State Journal that the review hasn't been triggered by allegations, but is a preventative opportunity to strengthen protocols.

"We also feel a responsibility to our kids and our fans to assure them that we are managing these things in a responsible way," he said.

The study will look into ensuring safe interactions between athletes and medical and training staff, as well as improving facility security.

Some of the university's sports venues have increased security levels for times when they're being used for competition following incidents when unauthorized people entered the facilities. There are also safety concerns for students and staff who are at facilities late at night, Dickey said.

Coaches, athletes, police, legal experts and other officials will be involved in the process. Officials aim to have the report completed in April.

"This terrible situation at Michigan State presents us with an opportunity to make sure we have our own house in order, and to make corrections or changes as needed," said Barry Alvarez, the university's athletic director. "We are treating this with the seriousness that it deserves, and I am determined that something of this magnitude will not happen at UW-Madison."

Michigan State has been scrutinized for its handling of sexual assault allegations against former Spartans athletics and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in prison for criminal sexual assault and 60 years for child pornography.


Associated Press