Colorado has reportedly hired lawyers who specialize in institutional response to sexual violence and gender-based harassment to investigate how the school handled allegations against former assistant football coach Joe Tumpkin.
Leslie Gomez and Gina Maisto Smith of the Philadelphia-based firm Cozen O’Connor will investigate how Colorado’s chancellor, athletic director and head football coach responded after they learned of domestic violence allegations against Tumpkin, the (Boulder) Daily Camera reports.
The two lawyers recently investigated Baylor while working for Pepper Hamilton, leading to the the firing of Bears football coach Art Briles and the resignations of athletic director Ian McCaw and school president Ken Starr after producing a report that showed the school did not take seriously complaints of women who had been assaulted by football players.
“We are looking at what occurred and when, if our policies were violated, or whether those policies should be modified to better explain the reporting (requirements),” CU Board of Regents Chair Irene Griego, a Lakewood Democrat, said in a prepared statement during the regents’ meeting Friday.
Griego added that the delay of approving head coach Mike MacIntyre’s contract extension should not be viewed as a finding of guilt on MacIntyre’s part.
Tumpkin’s ex-girlfriend allegedly called MacIntyre in December to inform him of allegations against Tumpkin. In the time between that phone call and Tumpkin’s suspension in January, MacIntyre had promoted Tumpkin, a defensive backs coach, to interim defensive coordinator for the Alamo Bowl.
A Sports Illustrated report earlier this month outlined the timeline of the abuse allegations and subsequent reactions from Colorado brass. Tumpkin’s ex-girlfriend said she first told MacIntyre of the allegations Dec. 9, and that she obtained a temporary restraining order against Tumpkin on Dec. 20 — four days after Tumpkin was promoted to the interim defensive coordinator post after colleague Jim Leavitt left to become Oregon’s defensive coordinator.
Tumpkin was suspended Jan. 6 and resigned Jan. 27. He is facing charges of felony assault.
MacIntyre, AD Rick George and chancellor Phillip D. DiStefano all released statements on the matter last week. MacIntyre said he had named Tumpkin the interim DC because there was no police report or legal complaint at the time, while George admitted that the situation could have been handled better.
DiStefano detailed two changes to strengthen the school’s ability in both responding to misconduct and in encouraging effective reporting of misconduct through all campus channels.
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