Spoken like one who knows how things work. Precisely my friend.
Brendan Gibbons Expelled, Untruths Rampant
The university and athletic department handled Gibbons about as well as he handled this field goal. [Eric Upchurch]
The Daily has revealed that the sketchy way Brendan Gibbons exited the program—a "tweak" before the OSU game followed by barely-credible claims of "family issues"—was in fact a result of the university expelling him for the 2009 rape allegations that were exhumed earlier this year:
“You will be permanently separated from the University of Michigan effective December 20, 2013,” reads a Dec. 19, 2013 letter addressed to Gibbons at his Florida residence from the University’s Office of Student Conflict Resolution, which facilitates disciplinary proceedings against students. The Michigan Daily did not obtain these documents from the University.
In human language, "permanently separated" is expulsion. The OSCR took that action based on a preponderance of the evidence.
Why it took almost five years to reach this conclusion is unknown. The Daily suggests that revised policies from 2011 may have forced the University to re-evaluate, but policies from 2011 do not result in December 2013 expulsions. Given the timing here it's clear that the guy who dumped various court documents on the internet was the proximate cause. That is of course terribly embarrassing for the university, which was apparently fine with having a student they eventually concluded they were at least 50.1% sure raped a girl as long as no one was complaining about it.
Meanwhile, the athletic department's optics here are horrible. Having him on the team is not the issue, or if it is it's on Rodriguez's head. The incident was a year old and seemingly dead when Hoke came in; without the OSCR or other university body stepping in there would be no reason to reconsider Gibbons's status.
But once they knew things were coming to a head they could not have been dumber about this. Not content with offering up the generic and 100% true "violation of team rules" explanation—being enrolled at the university is kind of important if you're going to be on the team—they chose to cloak Gibbons's departure in a thin veneer of sympathy by claiming "family issues." That is a lie. Now they look horrible, and for something a bit more serious than having a noodle in the stadium.
Meanwhile, Hoke's explanation for Gibbons's unavailability for Ohio State is questionable at best. Was this "tweak" legitimate? Is it at all plausible that Gibbons was "iffy" for the bowl game on December 16th, three days before the very last gear of ponderous university justice ground to a halt?
"He's a little iffy," Hoke said. "He's kicking a little bit. But I don't want to over-kick him (in practice).
"I've never been a kicker, so I can't imagine that (muscle pull) problem. So, he's a little iffy."
There is absolutely no chance that Brady Hoke was not fully informed of the status of his kicker by this point. Dave Brandon did not call Brady up on the 19th and say "you're never going to believe this, but…" That's also a lie, and in the service of what cause again?
UPDATE: A user who used to work at the OSCR provides details on the process:
Having worked at the Office of Student Conflict Resolution (the "disciplinary" office that administered the expulsion proceedings against Gibbons) for two years in undergrad, I thought maybe I could offer some insight / clear up some confusion about the OSCR process in this thread.
OSCR is not, in any appreciable sense, an investigatory body. It is a passive office that acts only after receiving a complaint from some member of the University community. While any individual student, faculty, or staff member can file a complaint, the most common OSCR complainants by far are Residence Education (Housing) and DPS. In order to pursue a complaint with OSCR, the Complainant has to provide all the necessary evidentiary backing; again, OSCR does not investigate events on its own.
The process for initiating and pursuing a complaint with OSCR goes as follows:
- An OSCR staff member conducts an intake meeting with the Complainant to discuss the nature of his/her/its complaint and inform the Complainant of the various resolution pathways available (in addition to formal arbitration, OSCR offers a number of alternative dispute resolution pathways that do not result in disciplinary action).
- An OSCR staff member will then conduct an intake meeting with the Respondent to notify him of the complaint and inform him of his rights/options in the process.
- At that point, the Respondent can either accept responsibility for the complaint or indicate that he's willing to proceed to a formal arbitration.
- Assuming that the Complainant is also interested in pursuing a formal arbitration, OSCR will either appoint a trained member of the University staff to serve as the formal arbiter, or it will select a panel of student arbiters.
- After hearing from both the Complainant and the Respondent, the arbiter or the student panel will reach a finding of "responsible" or "not responsible," and will then proceed to make a sanction recommendation.
- Any recommendations for expulsion have to be approved by a member of the University administration. When I was there, I believe this was the responsibility of the VP for Student Affairs, E. Royster Harper.
As you can see, this is a multi-step process that requires several meetings and often many different witnesses, advisors, and arbiters. With that said, it is emphatically NOT a three- or four-year process. Given that all of the investigatory work is already completed before a complaint is filed, the formal arbitration process does not take very long at all. In my time at OSCR, I can't remember a single arbitration - including those involving sexual assault allegations - lasting more than a single semester, from initial complaint to final sanction.
This lowering of due process in sexual assault cases is a horrible, low IQ and unconstitutional move motivated by nothing other than emotion and misguided political whim. Once you lower due process standards and declare due process discriminatory, all is lost.
How does protecting Gibbons equate with keeping Lewan in games?
1) You have no idea if Gibbons was remotely injured. Maybe he actually was and Hoke emphasized that point
2) The OSCR gave it's "verdict" on 12/18 per the letter that Gibbons recieved. Hoke's injury comments were made before that time period. Did you want him to suspend Gibbons when a decision was not even made bythe OSCR?
3) This is not a legal decision (criminal or civil), it is a University decision. The fact that Gibbons was not even charged means innocent until proven guilty.
Before we jump to criticize anyone for lying, we should get the facts. Was Gibbons practicing? Was it a lie? What did Hoke know?
Assumptions can do bad things.
And, quite frankly, before we judge Gibbons a rapist, we should wait for the facts of that case as well. That he has not been found guilty in a court of law certainly says something.
I am NOT saying any of these people should be excused for reprehensible behavior; I am saying that knee-jerk reactions to news stories are inadvisable.
I'll be the first to jump on Hoke, Brandon, and the university if this is all true.
I don't know... I have never been more ashamed of my alma mater.
I don't think it is too much to ask to suspend the player during an investigation. And even if the charge is dropped, if it is more likely than not that an assault occurred (much lower thrashold than reasonable doubt), that player should not be representing the university.
I would also add that anyone who intimidates the accuser in anyway should also be kicked off the team. There should be zero tolerance for things like this. I am ashamed that Lewan was ever part of this university.
If ANYONE in AD tried to cover this up in any way, they should be fired. Hoke and Brandon included.
Guilty until proven innocent doesn't sit well with me. It amazes me that people are so ready to give up due process.
Read the police report, it's available. Decide who you think is more credible.
The DA read the police report and determined that for us by not pressing charges.
The fact that the incident was reported to police and the DA decided there was not enough evidence (at that time) to even charge Gibbons. That says a lot.
That has nothing whatever to do with the issue of whether Gibbons violated the student code of conduct. That's the only issue here, and that was decided by the OSCR after investigation and a hearing. Crimninal charges are moot.
Unless some new evidence came out (and it may have), how can the OSCR expell Gibbons when the police and DA investigated and determined not to even charge Gibbons?
It's not logical (although maybe political), especially given the the OSCR does not investigate on their own (as the poster says in Brian's post).
It's perfectly logical that a prosecutor would decide not to prosecute somebody in a case in which conviction beyond a reasonable doubt would have been quite difficult because most of the evidence involved is the alleged victim's word against the accused's word, while at the same time the university, acting under a lower "preponderance of the evidence" standard, would choose to believe the alleged victim's version of events. The evidence could be exactly the same. A DA can have other reasons for refusing to prosecute (e.g., insufficient staffing, clogged courts) that have nothing to do with a university's decision whether to continue to keep someone on their campus who it believes committed a sexual assault.
EDIT: Beaten to the punch
Given that OSCR originally decided to drop it, after they were alerted to the incident and investigated, suggests that the DA didn't decline to pursue charges simply because the victim chose not to continue.
My contention isn't that it didn't happen, it's that this is a procedually idiotic situation and is essentially triple jeopardy. 1) OSCR follows existing procedures, investigates, does not pursue based on existing standard 2) DA declines to chare 3) OSCR standards change, case reopened, Gibbons expelled.
Perhaps he did it, perhaps he didn't, but I know of no other system where the rules are backdated in this fashion. In the legal system any more restrictive change to the law doesn't make liable those that committed the now banned act, and any loosening of laws doesn't automatically exonerate those who were dinged under the old laws. How many times can you try one person for one crime/incident/situation?
So far, he hasn't been tried at all.
Why is this hard to understand? Do people really think that a decision not to pursue charges means that decision can't be revisited in the future if new information comes in? Or that the absence of a criminal conviction prohibits a civil case? Or that someone can only be expelled from a university for a felony conviction?
And as for "restrictive changes to the law", the relevant changes here are procedural. The alleged acts were a violation of the student code of conduct in 2009 just as much as they are in 2013. The standard of proof has changed, not the definition of the "banned act".
I agree with most of this, but I would argue that he was "tried" by OSCR in the sense that they completed their entire process and determined that they couldn't "prove" anything. Sure you cannot actually be tried in court twice for the same thing and I accept that he wasn't ever tried in court, but I pretty firmly reject that a new interpretation/definition of administrative rules can apply retroactively to a previously closed case.
As for all of your rhetorical questions: It's hard to understand because we don't know everything and the rules of the game changed midway. I, at least, understand that the decision not to charge doesn't prohibit future charges pursuant to the statue of limitations and that you can file and win a civil suit against someone not criminally liable. I also understand that you can be expelled for a number of things short of a felony, gross sexual misconduct, for instance.
My compaint is not that he was expelled for whatever act he did or didn't commit, it's that the University, and apparently you, deem it fair to reinterpret the rules of what was apparently an already closed case. (I happen to think a 51% standard verges on destroying due process but that's for another time)
Frankly, until such time as we know exactly what happened, which we do not and may never know, this is an abstract procedural debate.
If memory serves me correctly, it was the accuser who did not want to press charges, not the DA. I believe that she didn't want to have to get up in front of a jury to tell the story again.
I'm not sure I've ever been more ashamed of our fanbase.
We know nothing, except that a small group determined that Gibbons was guilty of "Sexual Misconduct" (VERY different from rape) and that he was expelled.
There are a lot missing pieces to this puzzle still, and to see a young man's name trashed by lynch mob that doesn't know all the facts is abhorrent.
Gibbons was not charged with rape, and rape could not be proven (according to the DA). The victim was charged with (and convicted of) filing a false report. I'm not saying I know what happened or that Gibbons is innocent, I'm saying I'm going to wait to hear more before I say something that I can't take back, like "Gibbons is a rapist" or "Hoke is a liar."
I implore everyone, not as fans of Michigan football, but as fair-minded people, to be patient and withhold judgment until more is known. What is happnening on this board right now is completely unfair: many are assaulting a young man's reputation (and future) on the basis of a brief report in the Michigan Daily, and going a step further to question the character of our coach. I get that this is the internet and you can say whatever you want, but these are peoples' lives we're tearing down.
Finally, I will say that I believe rape/sexual assualt is an awful, terrible crime that far too often goes unpunished. My ex-wife was raped. An ex-girlfriend of mine was raped. Personally, I know of far too many stories of rape/sexual assault and it makes me sick. But just because it happens doesn't mean that's what happened here. This is a complicated issue, and I, for one, think it's best to reserve judgment on a case that is over four years old and that the police and DA seemed to find in favor of Gibbons. IF he did it, then he deserves expulsion and more. But we really don't know. I had friends get expelled for things they didn't do, but they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Just my two cents.
I had not heard that she was convicted of filing a false police report. Do you have a link to that?
And irresponsible. She was not accused of, nor convicted of, filing a false police report. Show your source, if you have one.
I'd like to see it too. I haven't heard that before.
Exactly. It's not as if Hoke was just speaking off the cuff about a kid expelled for serious infractions. You have to assume his answer was carefully vetted by his boss. That they came up with the family business crap is...crap.
It is not remotely plausible that Hoke was left in the dark re one of his key players being expelled. And Hoke, when informed
of same, would have surely demanded full details.
After thinking about this topic overnight, I have several questions/observations.
1. How and when and from whom did the Daily obtain this story, consistent with First Amendment freedom of the press considerations?
2. Is it possible that under FERPA protections that Brandon and Hoke were not privy to the state of the proceedings and its conclusion, and what Hoke told the press was information provided by Gibbons?
3. Why did the Daily wait on publishing the story? Did they seek counsel regarding its source(s) of information? Were they seeking corroboraton? Were they asked by the school to wait until a new president would be named?
4. Why would the University change its burden of poof to a lesser standard on matters that would have a lifelong impact on a student? A local polic investigation took place and they supposedly reached the conclusion that there was not enough evidence to proceed with a prosecution. The university has taken upon itself to draw a different conclusion over a matter with huge ramifications for the student accused of the act and to the university itself. I am not terribly comfortable with this on a host of levels, including libel, to say nothing about ruining a person's life. I am not defending Gibbons but I feel very uneasy about the process.
5. Based on FERPA, how much more can and will the University say about the matter?
Is there any possibility that Hoke was kept in the dark? I can't imagine any scenario where he would have been. This just makes my heart hurt.
This is going to be a major story, as it should be if it is shown that the team took precedence over Gibbons' expulsion.
Unless Hoke and Brandon were kept in the dark, how does this end well for either of them?
I don't really find Hoke at fault... The last thing those players needed were fifty kabillion questions from the media about how close they were to Brendan and if that came as a surprise... Hoke isn't responsible for reporting to the media about Brendan's whereabouts.... The university on the other hand is completely responsible for handling these types of matters.
It's not fitting for a leader of impressionable young men to lie about anything. In this case Hoke has for no apparent reason chosen to lie about why Gibbons was not with the team. Be evasive, dont comment or give a blanket statement but thats not what happened here. Seems like knowing your player commited a sexual assault on a female student would give Hoke a better awareness of the need for complete honesty and transparency. Evidently not. I'm not in anyway blaming Hoke for the actions of Gibbons, I am addressing a completely different issue I have with Hoke. The deception needs to stop, just dont comment if you dont want to give information.
There are a lot of assumptions built into your statements here. Unless you know when and how Hoke found out that Gibbons was expelled, you cannot blame or question him (though you can certainly ask questions about the situation).
Hoke does not have to reveal anything. But he must NEVER LIE. He lied.
FERPA prevents the University from saying anything about Gibbon's educational status. You'll note in the Daily article that both the AD's office and a University spokesman when asked to comment said they couldn't say anything about it.
So Hoke can't say anything about it, and "No Comment" was not going to fly. An alternative interpretation is that Hoke had to say something, and this was the best they could come up with that fit within the narrow parameters they had to work within.
When and how did Hoke discover that Gibbons had been expelled? Unless you can answer that question, your assertion that you know Hoke lied is bullshit.
If you ask me, this situation will most definitely affect Gibbons family as well as Brandon. So in this regard, I don't think Hoke lied. Nor do I think Hoke is responsible to reveal Gibbons legal troubles.
And as far as Hoke being responsible to tell the truth at pressers, can someone tell me the official definition of a booboo.
Why are people assuming this was a rape? I'd asume it wasn't rape because A2 police or MSP dropped all charges. Sexual Misconduct defined by UofM is as follows:
Umbrella term used to encompass unwanted or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is committed without valid consent, including sexual assault and sexual harassment. Sexual misconduct may occur between people of the same sex or between people of different sexes. Sexual misconduct can include both intentional conduct and conduct that results in negative effects, even if those negative effects were unintended. Sexual misconduct can also include retaliation in connection with a Complainant’s or Reporter’s allegations under this policy. Sexual misconduct may include the following:
- Sexual Assault: Unwanted or unwelcome touching of a sexual nature, including hugging, kissing, fondling, oral sex, anal or vaginal intercourse, or other physical sexual activity that occurs without valid consent.
Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature if: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education, living environment, employment, or participation in a University-related activity or University Program; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for or a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s education, living environment, employment, or participation in a University-related activity; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or abusive environment for that individual’s education, living environment, employment, or participation in a University-related activity.
- Examples may include, but are not limited to, the following: unwanted sexual statements; unwanted personal attention including stalking and cyber-stalking; unwanted physical or sexual advances that would constitute sexual assault, as defined in this policy; electronically recording, photographing, or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds, or images without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved; touching oneself sexually for others to view; and voyeurism (spying on others who are in intimate or sexual situations). More information about sexual harassment is available on the sexual misconduct policy website.
- Conduct reported as sexual harassment will be evaluated by considering the totality of the particular circumstances, including the nature, frequency, intensity, location, context, and duration of the questioned behavior. Although repeated incidents generally create a stronger claim of sexual harassment, a serious incident, even if isolated, can be sufficient. For example, a single instance of sexual assault can constitute sexual harassment
Something happen to the female who made the complaint. Her complaint was enough to have Gibbons tossed from school so something happen. I feel for her and her family and wish her the best. I'm glad the school tossed Gibbons from the team and school.
Calling someone a rapist when under this definition it could have been nothing more than a drunken tit grab is also wrong. Under this definition he could have been tossed from school for the simple reason as Lewan going to her and telling her to keep her mouth shut over a dirty text message. So until convicted in a court of law by someone able to conduct criminal investigation I would stop calling the man who made some sort of mistake a "Rapist".
the word has been getting tossed around so much that I certainly fell into thinking that was the subject.
To quote from the police report:
"UMDPS contacted AAPD to advise that a housing Officer at West Quad was talking to a female who stated she had been raped that morning."
Gibbons admitted intercourse took place. So the issue is consent. If there was no consent, Gibbons is a rapist. The report lists the offense as "forcible rape" and criminal sexual conduct first degree (later changed to third, not sure why, but the rest remains the same) penetration penis/vagina.
She said there was no consent, but was not willing to face the treatment rape victims get when cases go public. And her identiy would have inevitably leaked, in part because Gibbons is a football player. And because she was drunk, it would have been a trial about her behavior, because that's how we treat sex crimes in America.
If the university deemed that his conduct in his case was worthy of expulsion, then they must think he committed a rape, because that was the issue here.
So, it is perfectly possible that Gibbons didn't forcibly rape the woman, but got expelled because the consent he got was not "valid consent" as required by the student code of conduct. Sexual misconduct/sexual assult isnt ablack-and-white issue, and attempts to make it one do not help us understand what happened or whether justice was served in this case.
Hoke is responsible for not bullshitting and soft-pedaling such a serious matter. He's also a prominent face of the university. He's also the leader of the team -- the one who ought to set a standard for propriety. Instead, he sounded like Buddy Garrity. He owes everyone an explanation, and fast, or the tide will quickly turn against him.
I thought of a conspiracy theory. Someone is passively aggressively trying to get Hoke out. Maybe Brandon too. If the story gets squashed then there is nothing to it but if runs rampant for awhile there may be some truth to it, the conspiracy theory, that is.
That Buddy Garrity reference...man, a breath of fresh air in this thread.
"Coach, I found you a tight end; his name is Santiago."
...clearly in over his head.
Unless Hoke and Brandon were kept in the dark, how does this end well for either of them?
This is a black mark. Any illusions Michigan fans had of moral high ground, relative to certain behavior issues at rivals MSU and OSU, has vanished. That this took so long to resolve is a disgrace.
The question now is what does the university do to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again?
I don't see why this got hit so badly, it's not like it's completely untrue. DB constantly strives to parse his words so carefully that he really straddles the line of true/false a whole lot more than I'm comfortable with. I would assume there is no way that Hoke says anything on this publicly without having a private discussion with DB about it.
It just feels sleazy, and I don't like feeling sleazy.
You can't forget her. There is no way she didn't know this process was going on. If she chose not to inform Brandon and Hoke until the letter was delivered then they are clear. But, I hardly believe that they didn't know before the letter war delivered. Now begins the cover up. Heads need to roll if people misled the media about Gibbons true status in December.
She had great timing on her retirement.
In that case, probably the best thing is to eliminate the football team altogether.
Sadly, as the "big time' college game gets bigger with more money involved, the political stakes for everyone rises. Shit has always happened on college campuses and with football teams. Maybe in the old days, a disciplinarian coach could exercise some control. But in today's environment, it's far too easy to plead ignorance rather than risk a threat to the cash cow.
Most of us won't like this comment, but if you look at the big picture objectively, the truth is that Gibbons/Lewan stuff is only a hair away from the Penn State & catholic church stuff. Bottom line is that institutions will do whatever is necessary to protect themselves and we should be very cautious about who/what we support.
I hope as a fan base no one begins with the "Well these are accusations, and it had to go through the due process....". If this happened at MSU or OSU, we would calling it out as a reflection of their lower moral standards. We should be angry as a fan base that this was allowed to happen, and I just hope there's some reason that explains why this would have taken over 3 years to resolve.