by Twitter / @SDSU

San Diego State University requires its student-athletes to partake in sexual violence prevention training. 

Just last week, it was reported that a civil complaint was filed through the San Diego Superior Court against an NFL player and two former college teammates.

22-year-old Matt Araiza, a former Buffalo Bill and former SDSU Aztec, was accused of gang-raping a then minor Jane Doe at a college party last academic year. 

Araiza wasn't the only one involved in the civil complaint, as Zavier Leonard and Nowlin Ewakiko were also accused of this act at a party off-campus when Jane Doe was still 17 years old. 

The civil lawsuit led to the immediate release of Matt Araiza from the NFL's Buffalo Bills shortly after the civil lawsuit become publicly known. 

Since 2016, Brenda Tracy, an Sexual Assault Prevention Educator, has been visiting college campuses across the country to deliver speeches regarding sexual violence and how student-athletes can set an example in preventing it. 

When Brenda learned about the gang-rape incident involving the three student athletes, she visited SDSU shortly after to deliver a speech on the topic of sexual violence prevention. 

The story struck to the core of Brenda's memory, as she herself was sexually assaulted two decades ago by multiple Oregon State University football players in a similar situation. 

"Looking back on it, the more I think about it, and as details come out, the more I think about the similarities of the story," Brenda told KPBS. "I just … I don't get it because I speak very specifically about the people who do nothing."

As mentioned previously, SDSU Athletics Director John Wicker and school faculty had invited her to speak as part of the required student athletes' enhanced program, in which all Aztec football players are obligated to attend. 

"We've got all the programming around prevention of sexual assault, upstanding, training, party etiquette," he said. "We also do leadership training, we do financial planning, all of those types of things."

The training has been taking place at the Center for Community Solutions (CCS) over the past half decade, which is also the only rape crisis center in all of San Diego. 

Chief Executive Officer at CCS, Verna Griffin-Tabor, says that the training involves specific topics such as consent, role-playing, and self-reflection. 

"We have a curriculum that we go through and it's, 'what is consent?' and some role-playing, some discussions — breaking out in smaller groups so hopefully the athletes have the opportunity to really take a deep dive to really self-reflect on the past situations," said Verna Griffin-Tabor. 

The CCS training was initially introduced to San Diego State University by its own baseball coach, Mark Martinez. 

Coach Martinez was first introduced to the training course when the CCS offered produced a training session with Martinez' kid's Little League baseball team.

"It was eye-opening for obviously the parents and then it was very eye-opening for our young guys," Coach Martinez said. "They're not exposed to that stuff at that age. And so that's when I thought, well, we need to do something, we need to find a way to start educating our guys that are currently on campus about domestic violence and date rape and those kinds of things."

Coach Martinez says these type of training sessions are necessary in sports locker rooms across the board, in an attempt to establish a respectful and appropriate environment in the way players speak and act. 

"Whether it's a defamatory comment or saying, those things are snuffed out pretty quick in our locker room because they've had this training," he said. "They understand that some of those buzzwords that might trigger someone."

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