Advocate to stop violence against women speaks out on Dan Mullen's tenure in Gainesville: He obviously does not get it
After suffering the torture of being a victim of violence and sexual assault, Brenda Tracy has become one of the leading advocates for ending violence against women on college campuses and the leniency some coaches have handed out when dealing with the issues in their programs.
In addition to speaking out against violence against women, Tracy annually tours college campuses to meet with young men at football programs all across the country to share her story and help programs understand the gravity of such heinous offenses. The University of Florida is among the schools Tracy has spoken at in the past.
Now with a fifth accusation of violence against a woman coming from Florida during Dan Mullen’s tenure, the latest against sophomore defensive back John Huggins, Tracy is particularly disturbed by the coach’s recent comments regarding his handling of these instances.
“We do a lot, you know,” Mullen said during his most recent press conference. “I mean, how many of them are actually charged?”
In addition to the accusations against Huggins, quarterback Jalon Jones, defensive back Brian Edwards and assistant Otis Yelverton all faced accusations this offseason in Gainesville. With the exception of Huggins, all of them are no longer associated with the Florida program. Huggins has not appeared during training camp and no specific explanation for his absence has been offered up by Mullen.
“Obviously I’m a big anti-violence against women person,” Mullen continued. “I’m also a person that I really want to have all of the information as I make decisions and what happens in different situations and that’s one of the toughest deals.”
That response doesn’t please Tracy, to say the least.
“Dan Mullen obviously does not get it,” Tracy recently said to Tom D’Angelo of The Palm Beach Post. “He says he takes these issues seriously but he doesn’t. Mullen has done a poor job. This obviously is a leadership issue, possibly a recruiting issue. These are some pretty violent offenders.”
She didn’t stop there.
“His comments … there’s been no charges? That’s the level he needs to discipline his players or make it a meaningful discipline is a criminal charge or a conviction?” Tracy said. “That’s what the bar is on his team? That’s ridiculous.”
Considering all the accusations that continue to pile up in Gainesville, it’s a fair criticism to make.