Colorado officials allegedly knew about abuse allegations vs. former assistant coach Joe Tumpkin before Tumpkin received a temporary promotion for the Alamo Bowl.
According to a lengthy and must-read report by Sports Illustrated, the woman who has accused Tumpkin of numerous incidents of domestic assault said she told Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre on Dec. 9 that the Colorado defensive backs coach had been abusing her for two years.
The woman told SI that she first told MacIntyre in a 30+ minute phone conversation about the abuse because she felt she could trust the coach. She then contacted him the next day, though never was able to engage with the coach again.
During that first call, the head coach’s faith in her story—“he was so kind,” Jane recalls—moved her to call him back the next day. Jane had told Mac that she was intentionally not giving him any evidence because she didn’t want to put him in an “Art Briles situation”—a reference to the former Baylor head coach who was fired for reportedly mishandling allegations of sexual assault perpetrated by Baylor players. But then she remembered that there was evidence that could easily become public. Earlier in 2016, she says she told MacIntyre during this second conversation, “the police had shown up at Joe’s apartment … [there is] a domestic violence call on file … a neighbor heard Joe beating me up.” She had lied to the police that night, she explained, by claiming that the violent sounds had been part of a consensual sexual encounter. The police bought it and left.
MacIntyre thanked Jane for the heads up, she recalled. According to Jane, he said that he had spoken briefly about the matter with athletic director Rick George, who was traveling, and “they were going to sit down together when [George] got back and decide what to do,” Jane said. After that call, and over the next three days, Jane’s phone was silent. She would not hear from MacIntyre, or anyone at Colorado Athletics, again.
In the time between her conversation with MacIntyre and Tumpkin’s suspension, the defensive backs coach was promoted to interim defensive coordinator. Defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt joined Oregon’s staff and Tumpkin was selected on Dec. 16 to replace him for the Alamo Bowl vs. Oklahoma State.
The woman also said she heard from a defense attorney in Boulder four days after she talked to MacIntyre. The attorney, who had been involved in other cases with Colorado football players, was representing Tumpkin and said he had heard she called MacIntyre.
The woman got a temporary restraining order vs. Tumpkin on Dec. 20. In a Jan. 6 statement about the order, George said the school was still gathering details “about the very serious allegations in this finding.”
A spokesperson for the school confirmed to SI that George and MacIntyre had known about the allegations in mid-December, but said below why Tumpkin wasn’t disciplined immediately.
And, we’ll remind you, he was promoted in that interim period to be the team’s interim defensive coordinator for the bowl game loss.
That evening, more clarification from Plati: “In mid-December, Joe Tumpkin’s ex-girlfriend notified Coach MacIntyre of an allegation of physical assault. MacIntyre immediately informed Rick George, who then engaged Chancellor Phil DiStefano. They (the Chancellor and Rick) determined that no action could be taken at that time because there was no restraining order, criminal charges, civil action or other documentation of the allegation.”
Tumpkin is facing eight counts of assault, including five felonies.
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