Kinda Penn State-esque here. Obviously, Brian is right, the Ath Dept messed this up. It looks bad. You think people would have learned.
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.
Yeah it's sort of like Penn State, except that they knowingly let criminal sexual misconduct on kids occur for years, and we expelled the person accused of sexual misconduct after an investigation.
Sounds the same to me. Where's my pitchfork?
Is a closet Penn State fan who is trying to deflect attention else where and make it seem like what they did was not that bad. Get out of here.
You are correct, no one will look at this situation and compare it to Penn State. Certainly not MSU, OSU and ND fans.
so we should reserve judgement of DB, Hoke, Gibbons, etc. (well, maybe not Gibbons)
....that being said, I have a hard time seeing this ending well for any of the three and the University will likely look very, very bad. I wonder if Schlissel might take an opportunity to make a statement as president if this ends up being as bad as it looks...
Another, somewhat related downside of this: many hear dislike rumor-mongering muckrackers who stir up dirt just to stir up dirt; this gives instant credibility to at least one of them. Any time you give scorners the moral high ground you've made a big mistake.
This is bizarre and disturbing and should have no place at Michigan. Brandon and Hoke should be put on notice.
For something that took place before they got here and for policies/a department they have no control over? The only thing they're on the hook for lying about it after they became aware of the investigation or expulsion, and right now it's not clear of exactly when/what they knew. I certainly hope we find out soon. They won't be able to beat the press off at this point.
So we have no idea when the independent University investigation began or whether it was prompted by the new policies, but we're just going to write sweeping conclusions and be morally outraged anyways?
People are getting carried away here.
OSCR sucks. I was brought in for the stupidest thing ever (being drunk in a dorm), and the result was 3 more meetings and a corrective measure which was me having to make an anti-drinking presentation. They make the process unecesarily long and painful for the student. So I'm not surprised they messed up something with this.
So your complaint is that OSCR provided you with due process?
And only a slap on the wrist. Damn that OSCR!!!
I'm finding it hard to believe that the University, Brandon, or Hoke would go through the trouble of a big cover up just to protect a friggin kicker! I mean really, why not just give him the boot when the incedent occurred?... There's something missing here. .
The bowl game. You're missing the bowl game. They didn't cover it up to protect Gibbons; if they were out to protect Gibbons they'd do the Bobby Bowden shitbag thing and make sure he not only stayed eligible but available to play.
The very obvious move here was to prevent it from getting in the heads of the rest of the team. Last thing they'd need is to go into a stadium with "guilt by association" effect turning the crowd from neutral to dangerously hostile.
Not that I agree with it. . . I just think that's the Occam's Razor explanation. Of course:
1) It didn't really matter; Michigan got curb-stomped anyway, and
2) Flat-out lying about it was probably the worst move ever for a coach trying to recruit on a reputation of integrity.
To be honest, I don't doubt Hoke's intentions -- he was trying to keep a serious matter away from players who had nothing to do with it. But if he wasn't culpable, he was incredibly, inexcusably dumb.
Perhaps the delay came as a result of OSCR going back through years worth of complaints that under old guidelines were closed but had to be re-investigated. Gibbons case could have been one of possibly dozens of cases that had to be reviewed again. It's possible that the delay was simply due to sheer volume and not some plot by the athletic department to cover this up. But Hoke and Brandon both need to explain why when questioned about Gibbons, they weren't honest about it.
OSCR dude says the process can take up to a semester. Gibbons is dumped a semester after the incident became much more public. True, we don't know to a 100% certainty how it unfolded, but an awful damn lot of you are sounding like JoPa supporters right now.
Original process takes a semester, yes. But what about reviews of past cases when there are years of cases to review?
Also it was mentioned that from 2011-2013, OSCR was evaluating new policies and didn't have it's new formal review process in place until 2013. So if that's correct, then the reviewing of older cases wouldn't have begun until last year. Which would logically explain the delay. So from my best reasoning, the incident happened in 2009, no charges were filed. Case is essentially closed. 2011 rules were changed and OSCR takes two years to finalize updated standards. 2013 OSCR with new guidelines begins re-investigating complaints. So kind of explains the delay with the whole process.
This is basically where we all are right now:
None of us know what happened. That will not prevent everyone from presenting Very Firm, Stern Opinions about this whole thing
To what extent does the AD and University owe the public an explanation?
i am no fan of the athletic department from dave brandon down, but that stems from a general distaste for what could be described as one of its main functions, specifically the advancement of the michigan sports 'brand' and making it as financially self-supporting as possible. it's embarassing, but i get it. money talks, etc.
this is a different kind of embarassing. the p.r. hit is going to be unbelievable and take years to erase. renegade programs never really erase that stigma.
this disappoints me far, far more than any loss we've ever had. ever.
YOU DONT EVEN KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.
why are you shouting at me?
perhaps 'fireable offense' is too strong, but if you think that this won't be a total p.r. shitstorm, you are completely delusional. what hoke or brandon knew or didn't know or when or the specifics of the timeline will matter not one single bit, and you know it.
Well of course it will be a PR shitstorm, but that's mostly the media will make sweeping claims without any information. I don't think Hoke or Brandon should be fired just for creating a PR shitstorm.
i agree that neither should be fired based on what we know at this moment, but i worry that further information will not exactly be kind to either. i also think that both job descriptions implicitly include good and proper stewardship of the football program, and part of that means not exposing it to questions of judgement. every program has idiots - it's how you deal with them that makes or breaks your reputation. dantonio and tressel and meyer have each failed that test on multiple occasions. i hope that brady hoke and brandon have not failed this one.
Alleged or otherwise.
Do you know anything more than is already public knowledge? Because if not, you are absolutely freaking out about the unknown and sounding like a reactionary person for no good reason.
if having zero tolerance for anything resembling a coverup makes me reactionary, i guess i am.
i submit that if this exact sequence of events had happened literally anywhere else but Ann Arbor, this board would be lit up with people saying 'sparty no', 'same old columbus,' whatever. i don't know how you can deny that.
The fact rival fans act like idiots on mesage boards doesn't make it right.
I think people feel like there is something worse going on here other than the "gears of justice" taking a long time to grind out the result. I absolutely think that Gibbons did something wrong, and maybe Lewan and someone else was involved in trying to make it go away. But people acting like this is Penn St. and that a bunch of people in positions of power all conspired to hide information, delay investigations, and protect a kicker accussed of sexual assault is a bridge too far for me. And guess what, I'd say the same thing if the parties were MSU or OSU.
this has nothing to do with message-board morons. it has to do with casual fans - like the sparty fans, who i've heard from several times today - noticing that a michigan player was accused in some sort of sexual misconduct-type incident in 2009 but continued to play until 2013, when he was expelled, apparently for that same incident. i promise you that that's how it will be viewed. that IS how it's viewed - i've already heard it, from 'normal' people.
suggesting that the only people talking about it are the lunatic fringe is ridiculous, and suggesting that you'd somehow step back and take some sort of long view if the situation were reversed is even more so.
Notice that this leaks just after the Northwestern unionization story.... the timing coincidentally buries michigan's dirt.
Except that the info did not come the University. Federal law prevents the university from commenting on it.
Gibbons would also want it buried, as would anybody involved with the situation.
... from the University of Michigan"
Does it go on to say "...for the alleged rape of a fellow student."?
I am just curious.
I would like to know how the 2 and 2 got put together. Seriously just wondering.
EDIT: My bad. I just reread the MD article and saw the additional info...
Mouth agape and stunned at the four year gap between incident/investigation and adjudication. This is God-awful.
My mouth is agape that people keep claiming there was a four-year gap when we have zero evidence to support that.
We have zero evidence? Really? We have the police reports, which I've read (and assume you have as well) which are from, you know, 2009. The accuser? Also a student. Also a varsity athlete, in fact. Other documents include the Wellness Check report, from DPS, who'd been alerted by the Office of Student Affairs. That's dated December, 2009.
Four years later he is expelled. So yeah, I'm assuming that the University started, you know, looking into things back in 2009.
Hey, maybe the University investigation was closed and reopened. But the concept that the University was unaware in 2009 is asinine.
My mouth is agape at people who are contrarians just to be contrarians. I guess I'm outraged at your contrarian outrage.
They did look in 2009, and didn't find anything wrong. They then investigated again in 2011 apparently, so that may be the issue. 2 years isn't great by any stretch, but nobody sat on their hands for 4 years.
We have evidence that the police investigated in 2009. Outside of that, we don't know when the intial Univeristy investigation began, why it was renewed (although the new policy seems the most likely reason), or when it was renewed. You do realize that the standard of proof in sexual misconduct cases at the University was changed from "clear and convincing evidence" to "preponderance of the evidence" in the fall of 2011, right? And you know that Title IX coordinator wasn't required to independently review claims until the fall of 2011? Obviously, the University was intitially aware of the charges in 2009. That fact is completley meaningless.
I just don't get the incredible outrage here. The biggest problem I see is that Hoke claimed this was a family issue when it wasn't. Yes, that's unacceptable.
Aside from that, there is zero evidence that the University did anything but follow procedures by the book for handling sexual misconduct cases.
an outside possibility. Hoke should be asked directly.
Hoke gave the family issues reason on 12/23. Gibbons was separated on 12/20. So either Hoke didn't know one of his players was no longer a student or he lied. Based on the timing in the Daily article and the presser when the team arrived in AZ, there doesn't seem to be any other possibility.
Do you have a link for a Hoke quote on 12/23? He wasn't asked about Gibbons at the bowl welcome presser. http://www.mgoblue.com/allaccess/?media=425287
Rittenberg makes it sound like it was an AD announcement. http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/92135/michigans-gardner-could-b...
"KICKING IT: Fifth-year senior kicker Brendan Gibbons has played his last game as a Wolverine. Hoke told reporters Monday that Gibbons isn’t on the trip and will not participate in the bowl game due to a “family matter” in his native Florida."
So unless you're accusing Matt Slovin of making up the quote, I think you're off here.
I'm not accusing anyone of anything. You mentioned the timing of the presser so I went back and watched it and looked for a quote, couldn't find one and asked for a link. Just trying to nail down the timeline.
Your original title said something along the lines of "making things up" so I guess I took it as an accusation.
It looks like the comments from Hoke were in a more informal setting at the Phoenix airport, not a regular press conference, so my wording could have been better.
The original title was "people be making things up", because they are. I changed it because I didn't want you to think I was only talking about you. But you did say Hoke said "Gibbons out due to family issues" at the presser, which he did not do. The Slovin quote could be as bad as Hoke being the sole author of the family issues lie, or it could be that reporters were given a statement from the AD and when someone asked Hoke to confirm the offical AD line he said something like "Yeah". I wasn't there, so I don't know. I guess I'm hoping the family issues thing was Brandon's idea because I already know Brandon is a liar and I don't want to live in a world where Brady Hoke is too.
" I guess I'm hoping the family issues thing was Brandon's idea because I already know Brandon is a liar and I don't want to live in a world where Brady Hoke is too."
I can sign on with that.