Vanderbilt's game Saturday will be the most important game of the weekend, if not of the season... and here's why:
Saturday's match up between Vanderbilt and Ole Miss will mark the Commodores' 2nd annual "Set the Expectation" game.
Set The Expectation is a nonprofit organization and campaign founded by Brenda Tracy. The mission of the organization is to combat sexual and physical violence by raising awareness, education and direct engagement with coaches, students and athletes at all levels- high school, college and professional.
The game is a way to bring awareness to sexual assault and physical violence, particularly on college campuses. Last year's competition between Vanderbilt and Georgia was the SEC's first ever "Set the Expectation" game.
Of the game in 2019, Vanderbilt football put out this video:
Tracy speaks to teams across the country at various levels about her own personal experience with sexual assault when she was in college. Her message is "set the expectation" that physical and sexual violence is never acceptable. Tracy makes her message clear saying, "I tell every football team I work with I'm not here because I think you're the problem. I'm here because I think you're the solution. Then I tell them why and how. It's really about humanizing the issue and inspiring action."
She has spoken to over 30 teams in the last few years and continues to advocate for changes within athletic programs across the country. Tracy has implemented a pledge that can be signed by teams that includes taking responsibility, speaking up when seeing something and setting the expectation that players will not tolerate unacceptable behavior from teammates.
The Set The Expectation game is a great way to conclude October, national domestic violence awareness month.
For coaches that want to be involved or for more information and resources, check out the Set The Expectation website.
The Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day at 1-800-656-4673
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day at 1-800-799-7233