I have said it before but I will say it again...Taylor Lewan was: Worst. Michigan Captain, Ever.
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.
Aside from this alleged incident, why was he so bad? What proof do you have? There was that Whitlock column, but it was based on anonymous sources that may or may not have been real.
I'm a fulltime faculty member at a university I won't name, where I sit on the panel that reviews these types of cases. I do not suggest I know the intricacies of athletic department relations with adjudicating bodies in the institution, but I'll share a few of my experiences / insights in no particular order.
1. "Penn State" is a catchphrase these days, and a scary one to institutions. Since then Title IX adherence has taken on a whole new meaning. See here for a brief introduction. http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/title-ix-rights-201104.pdf. Many institutions are overhauling their related procedures.
2. These procedures require privacy for both the complainant and the accused. It's not out of the question that the accused in this case was granted that privacy, particularly given his public profile. I think the discourse of this board suggests the necessity for privacy. As such, it seems appropriate to me that Hoke would use some non-descript euphemism like 'family matters'. Again, the accused has a right to privacy and any violation of that are grounds for complaint from the accused.
3. The complainant has an abundance of rights, including no contact or any discourse with the accused. I bet the university upheld that rule.
4. Schools are required to deal with this in a timely manner, typically 60 days. It is possible that the complainant didn't file a complaint until recently, but who knows? It's possible (I haven't a clue) that a complaint could have been filed recently, despite the event occurring significantly in the past. Perhaps the complainant started with legal complaints, but was unable to generate enough evidence to press charges, then later filed a complaint with the school.
5. As Brian mentioned in the posting, the rules of Title IX say only "is it more or less likely that a violation occurred?" Not "beyond a reasonable doubt", not "preponderance of evidence", etc. Genuinely 51/49%. This is rightly, and strongly, in favor of the complainant. The nature and purpose of these rules is to provide a safe learning environment for each student equally. Any perceived violation will and should inevitably favor the complainant. As such, it makes these matters extremely difficult to adjudicate.
Recently I went through continuing training in preparation for such a case. It was grueling. Until you've had that experience, you have no idea how nebulous these cases may be. Between substance abuse clouding party’s judgment, memory, and the general disposition of 18-22 year old people, it's really difficult to come to a conclusion. I went into the training experience assuming I'd side with the complainant, and came out of the experience thinking to myself.... "I know lots of people who might have done something like that." You'd be surprised, really.
7. Given "Penn State" I have a really hard time believing that there was some major cover-up involved to protect a freaking middling kicker on a middling big ten team. The ramifications of the cover up are just far, far too great. I'm going to assume there's a reasonable explanation until it's clarified otherwise. I suggest you all do the same. The kid got kicked out of school, and publicly shamed. That may not be the only punishment, or it may be more that he deserved. You never will know exactly what happened; I suggest you leave it at that. The university is required to protect the privacy of all involved until the case is resolved and that may have driven the timing. I would be shocked if they were obligated to inform the football coach of these proceedings.
8. Man oh man these situations are tough.
Your comments are valuable. We should all slow down and think this through a bit before vilify our University, our AD and our coaching staff. They very well may have handled this a lot more appropriately than we realize. We're way short on facts.
Again, the whole thing is terrible, and my thoughts are with the young woman involved.
1. Once someone has been expelled, would it be a violation for someone to simply say they are no longer a student here?
2. Is it plausible that three days after the expulsion, Hoke wouldn't have known one of his players was no longer a student?
is that ALL Universities will now be investigating (and reporting) literally "anything and everything" now. If there is a question as to whether or not to investigate/report, they will, no doubt about it.
Combine that with the fact that the judgment on the accused's guilt is based on "is it more or less likely that a violation occurred?" ........ and it's a world where the accused is, frankly, in a pretty challenging situation once an accusation is made.
It's a worthwhile discussion --- obviously as a PSU alum our situation in 2011 was absurd and should never happen --- but to ensure something like that doesn't repeat, are our Nation's Universities reacting by going too far to the other side of the pendulum?
"--- but to ensure something like that doesn't repeat, are our Nation's Universities reacting by going too far to the other side of the pendulum?"
Since what is at risk for the accused is not jail time, but rather being forced to leave a university and (perhaps) transfer to another institution, I think that's an okay price for keeping our campuses safer.
I know I would not have wanted my daughter in a class/ dorm room/ situation with the individuals in this case.
google search "Brendan Gibbons" at ANY point for the rest of his life and the fact that he was "expelled from the University of Michigan after a sexual-misconduct investigation" will be among the top 10 results.
That's certainly not going to make any future job searches easier.
I respect your POV. But for the above to be Gibbons' permanent legacy, based on a "51/49 standard", I cannot support that.
What about your son being in a classroom with someone who falsely accuses him of something like this and gets away with it because of the way this system is set up. Now he has to find a new college with the stigma of being expelled hanging over him as well as having to explain what happened during future job interviews. And it's not like college kids aren't going to continue getting drunk and hooking up with the attendant regrets, misunderstandings, and bad judgment.
This is not an easy issue, but if we're supposed to be thinking of the victims we need to be thinking of ALL of the victims.
Great stuff. I've worked at a number of universities, and while not part of this type of work I can totally understand the grey areas you have to deal with. Everyone hears Gibbons is gone and presumes the worst, and that may be the case. Or it may be something far more nebulous, far more difficult, and most people probably won't ever know. I fully expect that stuff will continue to leak out over the next couple fo weeks, mostly conjecture and rumors passed off as facts, but right now everyone needs to take a breath and wait for more than a press release-ish article and Twitter to fill in the gaps.
First, thank you for the comments. It is great that this board has people who can offer first hand insight into things like this,
However, I find it very troubling that any "percieved" violaton is resolved in favor of the complaintant. I am a lawyer and, in my world, the burden of proof rests on the moving party. This is considered basic due process. To say that a finding of a violation, which can have such serious consequences, can be based on a perception of a violation goes against traditional concepts of due process. That is not 51/49. That is really, prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are innocent or we will expell you. As an arm of the state, the University is, IMHO, on thin ice here in terms of due process. Perhaps I am overreading a few sentences of your post. However, I do question the fairness of a process which is stacked in the favor of the accusser, especially where the consequences are so serious.
I don't mean this as an attack on you, and I really appreciate your insight. I just found your description of the policy to be very troubling. In fact, I have a high school age daughter and I would be worried about sending her to U of M if she could be expelled after four years based on a "perception" that she did something wrong based on allegations from an accusser that she doesn't even have the right to face. (This may not be a problem if she doesn't study harder, but that's anotherr matter.)
Also, in your experience, do you find that students refuse to participate in cases which are crimnial in nature. I am not a criminal lawyer, but based on your description, I would advise anyone accused of a vioaltion which can be criminal not to participate, I would have to tell them not to bother since the result is likely to go against them and does not justify the risks that any statement they give could be used against them. I would have to tell them to withdraw and try to enroll elsewhere.
Read this article from the WSJ about an Auburn student from just last month. Very very very interesting read (and pertinent as relates to Gibbons)
You may hit a pay-wall, this link will summarize:
It may be the new reality, but if it is a system prone to abuse of innocent parties then it needs to be addressed and changed.
If this new policy puts an accused person in an impossible situation, it needs to be changed plain and simple or else it will cause far more harm than help.
I thought this provided good perspective on the issue as well.
section 1 likes to bring up the Auburn case, lots of people bring up the Duke case, but anytime one has an inclination to do that, please just think of the ~1/5th of females who have experienced sexual assault of one form or another in college.
I ... and EVERYONE here ... fully respect all those who are victims of sexual assault.
But until they are actually found guilty, those accused of such crimes also deserve respect.
Part of that respect is: (1) not to be subject to some Bull Kaka 51/49 standard and (2) not to be tried by a Kangaroo Court University tribunal after they have already been cleared by actual law enforcement.
It's the same standard as in the vast majority of civil cases, which can also have serious consequences.
Preponderence of the evidence applies in civil cases, but that is not what was described. Bo mentioned 51/49, but said that any preception of a violation = guilt. That is not 51/49, nor is it a preponderence of the evidence.
Also, in any civil case, the planitiff has the burden of proof. This is a standard jury instruction. That is not the way Bo described the system. His/her description suggested that all that was needed as a perception that something happened.
Also, civil proceedings have discovery, cross-examination, etc. It didn't seem like the University's system allows the accussed to face the person making the accusation, or even learn who is making the allegation.
I agree it's troubling if that's how Bo's school interprets the standard of proof, but the actual standard is preponderance of the evidence. If his school is interpreting the rule differently, that's a problem with his school, not the standard, which is that there must be a preponderance of the evidence that the accused committed the violation. I'd also note that he indicated his approach to these cases changed from assuming he'd always side with the complainant to acknowledging how nuanced and difficult these cases can be after he went through his training.
If the university is like others in this country, it's basically like a kangaroo court. As I noted in another comment, it reminds me of a recent Auburn case. If the evidence is inadequate for criminal charges (and the allegation is already quite old), then what gives the university the right to play judge, jury and executioner?
Again, maybe he's guilty or maybe he's not. But there's a proper way for this stuff to be handled - through the courts. Period.
I'm honestly not sure where I come down on the matter. On one hand, yes, the legal system is the best way to handle general disputes. However, these situations can be terribly gray and the university does have an obligation to ensure the safety of their students. The university has the right to play judge and jury because attending the institution is a privledge not a right. That's the thinking anyway. If the standard was set by criminal courts, the complainant could wait their entire academic career to resolve the matter, and in that time spend thousands of dollars in tuition at an institution where they're in fear of sexual assualt. That doesn't have much of a ring to it, when a parent asks if their child will be safe while living in the dorms.
It's a tough, tough issue and not as easily encapsulated as consuming media folk prefer.
I agree, the policy can be very troubling, and difficult as all hell to resolve.
In part, the 51/49 standard is in place, as I understand it, because:
1. providing a safe place for a student to live and study is the utmost responsibility of the university.
2. attending the university is a privledge not a right.
3. the accused privacy is granted (except when he's a football player apparently).
I'm not arguing for or against the policy, but that seems to be the rationale.
To your other questions, the hearings' proceedings are subpoena-able, as I understand them. I know of a hearing where a lawyer was present and basically told the accused to not say anything. As you mention, if it's also a criminal case, non-participation is about the only logical choice. Of course, that increases the liklihood that you'll get expelled.... tough spot to be in.
I hope you double back and read this.
I really do appreciate your thoughtful responses.
I did! Thanks for mentioning. Unique that a recent professional experience would pertain. Unique and unfortunate, I suppose; but these issues are really huge in academia these days. I guess it takes football players getting involved in order for it to make big news. Cheers.
Regarding point #5: I don't know I'd say that the way the burden of proof is balanced is rightly in favor of the complainant. To me it invites abuse. There's got to be a better way to balance the scales than just we think there's a 51/49 balance that a person did it. In that case it's FAR too easy to be influenced by emotional responses and one's pre-dispositions. I don't think this serves the cause of a safe environment as it introduces some pretty life altering consequences for issues that may have arisen due to a bad break-up or a misunderstanding. The intent may be good, but the execution is just too open to abuse for me to be comfortable with it.
I would tend to agree with your comments, at least in theory. That said, the gumption and certitude it takes a student to raise such a complaint, go through the process, etc. is, in my experience, a significant deterrent to abuse. As I've witnessed, these hearings are very emotionally traumatizing for the complainant. The write a written statement, and are asked questions about the statement. They can also be asked questions based on the accused statements. It can be really tough. Furthermore, there is significant inquiry and questioning. No one takes expulsion lightly. Anecdotally, I've never seen a complainant "celebrate a win", mostly they just feel a sense of relief that the accused isn't going to be on campus any more.
That said, your final sentence is scarily true. Again, many of these cases are between people who are familiar with one another, as most date rape is. They may have been sexually active in the past, for example. One may have consented while highly intoxicated, blacked out, then awakened to believe they didn't consent. One of the more detailed rules at some universities is that it is a violation to proceed with sex if the person is 'temporarily' unable to consent, aka, said yes, blacked out, said no.
It's terrifying for all parties involved.... including the jury.
More on this story will surely come out in the next few days/weeks. Even so, we may never know exactly what happened, who knew what when, and why it took this long to have the situation resolved. There isn't always smoke with fire, but the many possible sources of smoke-allegations of intimidation, cover up, dishonesty-doesn't make me feel good about the outcome. BTW, just talked to my buddy who is also an alum and huge fan and he feels it will turn out to be nothing. Guess we will see....
What follows is conjecture. Neg as you will.
I think that many of you are overthinking the cover-up angle and the amount of time that passed between incident and expulsion. Per the police report that was leaked this fall, an accusation was made and investigated. For whatever reason, the fellow student elected not to pursue the matter further. The police allowed the case to close without further action. To my knowledge, there was no OSCR action at this time. This makes sense as, per the article that Don linked above, prior to 2011 the OSCR process was complainant driven. If the woman was unwilling to pursue a criminal charge then I strongly suspect that she was unwilling to pursue an OSCR complaint.
The story gets renewed attention this fall when the police report is leaked. I suspect that someone within the University (OSCR, AD, administration) in an attempt to avoid a scandal, asks what action was taken in 2009 (and perhaps why no OSCR action was taken). Discovering that the process has now changed and having some reason to suspect that Gibbons may have assaulted another student, the case is sent to OSCR for adjudication. This process takes most of the semester and Gibbons is expelled in December.
This, of course, doesn't excuse Hoke from answering some hard questions about his comments regarding Gibbons (injury/familty matters). But, lacking further evidence, pardon me if I don't jump the conclusion that Michigan was engaged in a 4 year coverup/obfuscation/nefariousness.
It all boils down to: what did Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke know, and when did they know it?
In defense of Brandon and Hoke, it should be noted that OSCR and the Athletic Department are separate departments of the university, and may not have been communicating well.
I'd want to know what the Athletic Department was told about the case against Gibbons, and when. As ugly as this looks, you can't be faulted for telling lies unless you knew the truth yourself.
It's also possible that there are some questions about Gibbons responsiblity. OSCR's standard is preponderance of the evidence -- more likely than not. The standard in a criminal trial is beyond a reasonable guilt. If the evidence is strong, but not absolutely airtight, it's possible that Brandon and Hoke got conflicting reports from OSCR, and it's also possible that Brandon and Hoke decided not to bring additional harm to a young man who might actually be innocent.
If I had reason to believe that someone I knew was a rapist, but I wasn't certain, I would be tempted to avoid calling him a rapist in public. That would make the statements they made misleading, but human and forgiveable. So I'd want to know just what the evidence against Gibbons was.
We won't know that, however, unless he is arrested and charged in a criminal court. Until that happens, I'd have to assume that the case against Gibbons was strong but not airtight, and I'd give Brandon and Hoke some benefit of the doubt until then.
This is an ugly situation though, no doubt about that.
I didn't claim the questions were original, just pertinent.
Of course they fucking knew, but the laws and rules tied their hands. Do you honestly think Hoke and Brandon would do the wrong thing here? They had no choice. This will be evident sooner or later. Give it a break.
You're guessing at the facts. You need to slow down.
I'm working through some of the possibilities. There's a lot we don't know.
Again, where is all this certainty and factual bases coming from? Gibbons was accused and investigated once before and apparently the evidence wasn't great enough. Now he's investigated again and he's found guilty with a lower standard. That's all we know. Maybe Lewan was involved, maybe not. But acting so high and mighty is silly.
Without further information about the matter, this case seems poorly handled. It appears to put us on a slippery slope that could take us much too far from the truth.
But I would need to see the exact transcript of remarks by Brady or the AD to actually accuse anybody of lying. They could justify their comments as not being lies in any number of ways. For instance, they could reason: this court case created concerns for Gibbons about being publicly prejudged in the media, which would certainly create “family concerns.” If Brady said this was the ONLY reason that Gibbons would not make the Ohio game, then that would probably be a lie. But if he discussed the likely university verdict with Gibbons or his family, and got their pro-forma input about the wisdom of playing in the game, to say that “family concerns” were a reason for his nonattendance would not be lying (even if misleading and not the whole truth).
The same applies to a second instance. I think you suggest that calling Gibbons’ physical status for the bowl game “iffy” is a lie. Yet, again the statement could be rationalized. For instance, Gibbons would be expected to have discomfort awaiting his expulsion. If Brady said that his discomfort would be the only determinant of his bowl attendance, that would be a lie. But if he discussed the matter with Gibbons, and Gibbons agred to take himself out of the game before Brady made him ineligible, then Brady’s statement would not tecnically be a lie (even if misleading and not the whole truth). There could be many other justifications given. To judge the literal veracity of Brady's statement would require at the very least a transcript of his comments.
could the school revoke his degree?
It appears there may be an actual explanation for the delay, according to the University's FAQ section on student sexual misconduct.
The new standards that allowed the University to use the "preponderance of the evidence" standard (as opposed to the much higher "clear and convincing evidence" standard) was actually implemented on August 19, 2013. Prior to that, it was some sort of interim policy theey were developing.
If that's the case, then the "delay" is not much of a delay at all. The evidentiary requirements were lowered and Gibbons was gone in a few months.
Here's the FAQ page:
I read the info in the link to say that the new proof standard was adopted with the interim policy in 2011. It's confusingly written, though, so I can see why you take it to mean that the new proof standard was adopted in 2013...It still seems likely to me that some change was triggered by the new policy or coincided with the new policy (in 2013), thus leading to a new or newly-empowered investigation.
If it's an on going criminal investigation they really couldn't/shouldn't talk about it. Also if it's an issue that may be in doubt as to his guilt or innocence the coaching staff shouldn't feel obligated to talk about something that is an allegation. Either way I'm going to stop saying we lost to ohio because we didn't have our kicker.
All Hoke had to say was, "No comment, I can refer you to the Athletic Department or the OSCR." But he didn't. Gibbons was expelled. The reason for the expulsion is known. And he didn't travel with the team, thus the athletic department and coaching staff knew he was expelled. As far as I know, the OSCR doesn't expel students because "mom was sick", ie.,
"family issues". I'm sure Hoke knows that. It's mind-boggling that people would make up excuses for Hoke's lying to the public about Gibbons.
1) Gibbons had not been expelled at the time Hoke made his comments.
2) It is a violation of federal law (FERPA), and I bet university policy, for Hoke to reveal that Gibbons was under investigation by OSCR. Referring reporters of OSCR may pass strict legal muster, but comung man. That pretty much says it.
3) Gibbons may have actually been hurt, and was dealing with can be called a family issue. I agree that this was misleading, but I can't say it was a lie.
Now, you will get no argument from me that the obviously smart thing would have been to say "He is not with the team and that is all I am going say about it" as many times as needed until the reporters all gave up and went home. I just don't think you can call it a lie. I guess my bottom line is that, after the Freep jihad, I am willing to forgive a Michigan coach who misleads the media.
As linked above, it appears that he was expelled three days before the family matter statement.
My mistake. I wish I knew how to embed so I could offer a picture if a cat or something.
Classic dumbass logic. Because one newspaper got a story wrong entitles the coach to deceive everyone.
Your feelings hurt because Hoke didn't tell you the truth?
Guess what, coaches mislead all the time. Devin Garnder was really hurt a lot more than Hole let on. "Team rules" can be bad grades or got caught with crack. You are the dumbass if you think coaches are, or should be, 100 percent forthcoming so a bunch of clowns like us can geek on it.
The most open coach I've every seen was RR. The media, and our fan base, eat him alive for it. No Michigan coach should do that.
Finally, all we are talking about is Hoke's family situation comment. That is the huge lie here. What is the big deal he said "family situation" as opposed to "no comment"? Gibbons was still punished. It's just that your obsessive need to know was not fully satisfied. So yeah, let's fire a coach over that.
Our new Head Coach, Doug Nussmaier.
What should MGoBlog done about this issue? There were pretty hefty rumors years ago and quite public press (Jezebel is very well-read) about the alleged assault before this season. The police report is not proof, but it's very concerning. Should they at least have been a little less encouraging of 'brunettes,' a joke which now seems pretty sick? Didn't the blog play a role in making a terribly undeserving placekicker into a mild cultural hero to a few?
All this is to say nothing of Brady Hoke making the brunettes joke to Gibbons in the first place. He never, ever, ever should have said that to someone who had that accusation riding against him.
The blog, probably wisely, does not do much that could resemble gossiping about players, even when it may be relevant to the team's performance. (For example, there was a pretty clear leadership vaccum this year, are we now getting a hint of what it was?)
I'm saying this seriously and don't know what they should have done. This is a rough situation.
1) It's a blog. Gibbons wasn't found guilty at any point. Jokes are jokes, and while some people alluded to his issues, let's not get too bent out of shape because people (rightfully) presumed the matter had been adjudicated and nothing came of it.
2) A coach made a joke about, again, a kid who had previously been found to not have committed any infractions. You want to never joke around a person because, at some point, they were accused of doing something wrong? That's a pretty tough standard to maintain.
3) Again, this is a sad situation, but people looking for "bigger meanings" out of it are going to be disappointed. We don't know what happened, and while more information will likely come out all of these cloak-and-dagger tales about ADs who kept stories quiet while coaches looked the other way are based in fantasy. Until I read a legitimate police report and follow-up evidence, with actual information substantiated by a third-party reviewer, I don't think it serves anyone any good to guess who is to blame and who screwed up, save for the fact that the bowl game discussions probably could have been handled differently.
Is there a criminal charge? Is there an investigation? There are many questions and few answers? See Jimbo Fisher and Jameis Winston. You guys are way over-reacting until answers are forthcoming. And maybe there are no answers. Until there are criminal charges this is wild rampant speculation. And 5 YEARS OLD. 5 YEARS! JEEZ. Chill out. Let due process happen. Apparently it has a nice 5 year head start.
I'm not here to defend Hoke if he was in the wrong but with all the privacy issues its difficult for him to say what was happening. If there was a better catch-all phrase than "family reasons" he should have used it I guess but the typical "violation of team rules" or whatever else wasn't really applicable here.
If Hoke lied about him being injured against ohio that is a much bigger deal to me.