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Author Jessica Luther Talks NCAA Football And Rape In Book Reading Thursday

By Josh McGhee | November 10, 2016 5:30am
 Jessica Luther's
Jessica Luther's "Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape" was released in September.
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Courtesy of Janelle Matou

ANDERSONVILLE — Journalist and author Jessica Luther will discuss her new book that dives into sexual assaults in the NCAA and on college campuses Thursday in Andersonville.

At 7:30 p.m., Luther will host a book signing and reading for "Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape" at Women and Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark St.

The book "examines rape culture in college football by taking a deep dive into how various institutions — the NCAA, athletic departments, universities, the media, the police, and fans — use the same strategies over and over again when a college football player is accused of sexual assault to ensure that scrutiny dies down quickly, no institution ever has to change how it operates, and the evaporation of these cases looks natural," according to a news release for the event.

Using a playbook as a metaphor, the book runs through the offense and defense of protecting sexual predators when they happen to be college athletes, but also offers its own playbook to change the norm.

The book has received praise from big names in sports reporting such as Katie Nolan, Kate Fagan, Ben Strauss and Bomani Jones.

The book "is an important mirror to make us question how sports became more important to the world than the women who make life possible," Jones said.

"Jessica Luther's place as both sports fan and empathetic observer make her perfect to explore the shameful ways universities and their athletic programs address sexual assault," he said.

Luther is an independent journalist from Texas who mostly covers sports and culture. Her work has been featured in ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated's FanSided, VICE Sports and Texas Monthly.

The event is sponsored by Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, which helps keep families safe by using the legal system to combat domestic violence, according to its website.

While the group focuses on domestic violence, sexual assault usually goes hand-in-hand with it, said the group's executive director, Margaret Duval.

"There's a lot of overlap between the two," Duval said.

People in the group's network seem to be fans of Luther and her work, making the event seem like "the perfect opportunity."

"As soon as you say her name, they know her," Duval said. " A lot of people have wanted to know more about her and her book."

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