The Big Sky Conference has instituted new policies that would prohibit athletes and prospective athletes who have violent offenses on their records.

University of Montana Athletic Director Kent Haslam summed up the new policy.

“What it addresses is any current or prospective student athlete who has been convicted of or pleads guilty or no contest to a felony, or a misdemeanor that involves things like sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual exploitation or an assault that employs the use of a deadly weapon or causes serious bodily injury,” said Haslam, who said the University of Montana already has similar prohibitions in its student athlete conduct code.

“Many of these things really align well with what we already have in place here at the University of Montana in our student athlete code of conduct,” he said. “It’s not a real major deviation from the policies that we already have in place, but it does set clear expectations for those prospective student athletes and those current student athletes who want to compete in the Big Sky Conference.”

The Serious Misonduct Rule would bar any such student athlete from competing for any Big Sky Conference team.

In February, a panel of University of Montana officials and others discussed issues such as toxic masculinity, bullying, college athletics and sexism Monday night at the Wilma Theater in a forum called ‘Tackling Sexism’ that featured newly rehired UM football coach Bobby Hauck and other athletic officials, as well as UM President Seth Bodnar. The forum was sponsored by Missoula Rises.