Brendan Gibbons Expelled, Untruths Rampant Comment Count

Brian January 28th, 2014 at 6:21 PM

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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.

Comments

MGlobules

January 28th, 2014 at 10:13 PM ^

and maybe with a major news conference to clear the air. Because unless I'm missing something, it looks like Gibbons could have been protected to keep Lewan in games too. I don't see anyone raising this point??? And with all of the accusations swirling FOR YEARS about this, getting a handle on whether even some of it was true cannot have been that freaking difficult, unless I am missing something. And if that was obvious--if it was clear that there was serious wrongdoing (whatever the extent)--then the standard has to be that you remove that person from the squad. . . at least until the thing is cleared up, for god's sakes. Instead, both of those guys played. 

I don't necessarily think the management here suppressed this story, as some are alleging. (And I certainly don't think that Brian's post above takes anything but the right very serious tone.) But I would like to hear Brian explain why conversation on this topic got so little play here was so carefully tiptoed around. Maybe for every good reason, but I'd like to understand what the thinking/rationale was. 

Section 1

January 28th, 2014 at 10:26 PM ^

April 3, 2011.  Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Department of Education, Russlyn Ali, sends an open letter threatening Title IX sanctions if institutions fail to follow up on claims of sexual harassment to her satisfaction:

http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201104.html

 

I was criticized in the MGoBoard thread on this topic, for having politicized the question by advising all of the existence of the very widely-praised column by James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal in which he movingly told the story of political correctness run amok at Auburn.

It is a wonderful column.  I recommend it to all.

But let's set aside Taranto and the Journal.  Here's noted civil libertarian and law prof Jonathan Turley on the same topic, with much the same concern as James Taranto:

http://jonathanturley.org/2012/12/06/accused-students-deserve-protectio…

 

Michigan Arrogance

January 28th, 2014 at 10:46 PM ^

I wish for once, that rich, white, powerful males would work to ensure due process for women who are sexually assulted. Even with highly publicized cases like Duke, and relatively clear cases like Auburn, the pendulum (for the last 250,000+ years or so) has swung WAAAAAAAAAY too far on the side of the alleged assulter. It should swing a hell of a lot more toward the alleged victim and is finally doing so now.

 

GoBLUinTX

January 28th, 2014 at 11:10 PM ^

Three players summarily expelled, one coach forced to resign, the remainder of the team's season forfited, and said three players forced to defend themselves against allegations of rape and hate crimes all on the false statement by the "victim" of rape.

Turns out "Rich, White, Powerful Males" will work overtime to ensure justice for women that are the alleged victims of sexual assault.

 

Section 1

January 28th, 2014 at 11:26 PM ^

A well-to-do powerful white prosecuting attorney helped her make a phony case against the Duke Lacrosse players.  And a well-to-do white defense attorney helped her when she was accused of attempted murder, first-degree arson, assault and battery, identity theft, communicating threats, damage to property, resisting an officer, misdemeanor child abuse, and, lastly, the guilty verdict in the second-degree murder case that has sent her to prison in North Carolina for 14-18 years.

 

ChiBlueBoy

January 29th, 2014 at 8:50 AM ^

I worked in Durham at the time. I don't believe that the prosecutor was well-to-do. They are incredibly underpaid. As are most defense attorneys. It's one reason I'm not a criminal defense attorney. If you have facts to support your characterization, I'd be interested.

Section 1

January 29th, 2014 at 9:09 AM ^

We were firing back at the ridiculous race/class/gender -card huckstering; I didn't bring the issue of "wealthy powerful white men" into this debate.  There's no good reason for anyone else to have done so, either.  If the white man who was placed in the role of defendant in this case was denied due process, it certainly wasn't a case of white privilege.

ChiBlueBoy

January 29th, 2014 at 11:37 AM ^

I understand the reason why you said it. Unfortunately, it was based on assumptions and stereotypes that proved false. Lawyers must be wealthy, white and male? How do you know that the prosecutor and defense counsel were white or male, for that matter? Did you bother to look them up?

I suggest that if you get your facts straight, and lessen your assumptions about people, your views will be taken more seriously.

As to your broader point, race, class and gender have everything to do with sexual assault. Always have, always will. Sexual assault is about power and sexualizing violence. If you think that power and violence are somehow divorced from class, gender and race, you live in a very different reality from the rest of us.

Section 1

January 29th, 2014 at 1:56 PM ^

I understand the reason why you said it. Unfortunately, it was based on assumptions and stereotypes that proved false. Lawyers must be wealthy, white and male? How do you know that the prosecutor and defense counsel were white or male, for that matter? Did you bother to look them up?

Well, I wrote it because I knew that I was right on the facts, and I wanted to attack the whole race-card gambit.

The Duke Lacrosse phony-rape case prosecutor; Mike Nifong.  Now disbarred in North Carolina after having been found guiltly of fraud, material false statements before a judge, lying about exculpatory DNA evidence, etc. etc.

The Crystal Mangum murder-trial defense lawyer, Dan Meier:

 

I apologize if I misled you into thinking that I was apologizing for anything that I wrote.  But rather than continuing that sort of back-and-forth, I'll just say; the Duke and Auburn (and how many others?) cases belong in courts of law.  With legal protections for the accused.  God only knows, if the Duke Lacrosse case had never been in court, and if no charges had been filed, and instead we only had some weird student disciplinary council hearing resulting in no conviction but expulsion from the university... We would never have gotten to the bottom of that story.  THESE CASES BELONG IN COURT.

ChiBlueBoy

January 29th, 2014 at 3:57 PM ^

Criminal cases involve a state actor. As such, it requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt in order to protect the innocent against the far greater power of the state. That, at least, is the theory. On the other hand, individuals have a right to meet and form associations and to include and exclude parties as they deem fit. If I start a Section 1 Fan Club, I can allow in, and kick out, anyone I want, for any reason I want, as long as that reason doesn't violate state law (e.g., I can't exclude someone based on race, etc.).

The University is nominally a state entity, though its funding from the State is minimal. Many institutions, however, are private. To tell a private institution that it must continue to contract with a person, and may not exclude them, for any or no reason is questionable constitutionally, legally and ethically. Are you going to stand for the proposition that once a student is admitted to a school, that school has to allow the student to remain, regardless of whether there is stronge evidence of wrongdoing, unless the person has been subject to criminal process? You seem to be concerned about government overreach, but that would be an overreach beyond proportion.

saveferris

January 29th, 2014 at 11:54 AM ^

Not to mention citing a ludicrous claim of 250,000 years of the pendulum swinging in an unfavorable direction, when 245,000 of those years is essentially unrecorded history.  Nevermind that the concept of rape as crime in the context that we understand it today has only really been codified within the last 2 -2.5 centuries.

Michigan Arrogance

January 28th, 2014 at 11:57 PM ^

I love that I'm able to keep baiting Section 1 and others to point to Auburn and Duke. Keep going. shall we go for 2? 4? wanna try for double digits?

the point is, false acusations of rape/sex misconduct are most assuredly not a major problem in this country. and if anything that may actually prevent men from sexually assulting women or even coming close to a line that someone might interpret as having been crossed into sexual assault at a party. that kind of sucks, I get that. As someone mentioned, it must be scary to be a sexually active male these days. Yes, yes it must be, I'd imagine (lol). Almost as scary as being a sexualy active female. Or an inactive one for that matter- b/c sometimes the women doesn't have a choice in the matter.

letting rapists and sexual molesters go free is a fucking epidemic and has been for all of human history.

gbdub

January 29th, 2014 at 12:54 AM ^

So "a lot of sexual assault goes unpunished" means "anyone accused of sexual assualt is not entitled to due process"? That's a bold position.

The "dear colleague" letter shows that, far from the pendulum swinging far toward the accused, we're actively knocking down legitimate and necessary due process (a reasonable standard of guilt for serious offenses, the right to face accusers and present evidence, the right to counsel) in the name of upping the conviction rate, and damn the collateral damage.

Expecting the accused to have a reasonable chance to defend themselves before unleashing hell on them is a far cry from "letting rapists go free".

Michigan Arrogance

January 29th, 2014 at 7:00 AM ^

re:paragraph 1: More like: "75%+ sexual assault goes unpunished" means "anyone accused of sexual assualt is entitled to an equal due process as the alleged victim AND a an equal burden of broof (51/49) as described by the term  preponderance of evidence."

 

re: paragraph 2: this is not a court of law (TM) so conviction isn't directly the goal, but prevention and defense of the victim.

 

 

gbdub

January 29th, 2014 at 8:50 AM ^

So you set an "equal" burden of proof, but then you seed the proceeding with bias toward the accused ("75% go unpunished! We have to defend women! We'll look really bad if we don't punish someone") and deny equal due process by rejecting the accused's evidence and preventing them from cross examining or even knowing the identity of the witnesses against them (read the article I posted earlier or nearly anything else discussing the nature of these proceedings).

That's a recipe for a kangaroo court with a 100% "conviction" rate. And yes I understand conviction is a term of convenience. Please stop playing "gotcha" games with criminal vs. civil - I know and recognize the difference and am arguing against that difference.

In one case a young man got expelled and was not reinstated even though he was not only never charged by the police, but his accuser actually got convicted of filing a false report (and that's really rare). My point is not to say that false accusations are a bigger or more serious problem than sexual assault. But I do think there's a real problem when the standard is so weak that evidence that doesn't even rate a filing of charges (meaning they don't even have confidence in obtaining an indictment) in the legal system can and does result in expulsion in the academic system.

Mostly I'm concerned with the degree to which you downplay the seriousness that ought to attend an expulsion in a public institution. It would be one thing if we were talking about relatively minor administrative punishment such as sensitivity / code of conduct training or the college equivalent of a restraining order. I'd be fine with applying that even in the face of 49% uncertainty. I think Yale tried something like that. But the burden of proof for expulsion ought to be higher, given that it will seriously disrupt the ability of the expelled to obtain an education. I think Yale tried something like that - comparatively mild punishment at a low burden of proof but a higher burden of proof for the most severe punishments. To me that seems fair. However they were attacked for giving minor punishment for rape (as if a preponderance of evidence was a beyond doubt finding of a criminal act).

I just think someone accused of rape and threatened with expulsion ought to have a bit more protection than someone challenging a parking ticket, and right now that's emphatically not the case.

Michigan Arrogance

January 29th, 2014 at 6:10 PM ^

the lower half of this sounds fair. something less than expulsion that is a porbationary period plus rehab.

as to the 1st paragraph, it's very well known that the overwhelming majoriety of sex assualts & rapes are not even disclosed, let alone investigated, tried (in a kangaroo court or otherwise), much less convicted. this is certainly NOT b/c the alleged assaulters are innocent, as section 1 keeps saying ("Gibbons didn't sexualy assault anyone: b/c he hasn't been charged/convicted"). It's b/c

  1. women don't feel that the system works enough to protect them, and on the contrary works MORE to protect the alleged assulter, which it does. So women are not willing to go after the assulter b/c there's so little chance to actually have any consequences brought to the assulter due to his actions.
  2. even if they do attempt to do so, due to the nature of these crimes (private, personal, 'he said, she said') it is almost impossible to gain enough evidence to secure conviction (read:expulsion from the U in this case). The odds are overwhelmingly and undoubtedly against the victims of rape & sexual assault. The focus of the rights of the accused in our justice system results in this imbalance, IMO.

Well, that is, until the T9 'preponderance of evidence' 51/49 threshold that was recently inacted by the Fed in non-legal (university tribunal) cases. The goal of this is mainly to encourage more women to actually report sexual assualt in the 1st place b/c YES, it makes it easier for men to be accused and found to have misbehaved (can't think of a better word than convicted) and oh IDK, actually feel the consequences of their reprehensible actions.

I know people like to go to "innocent before proven guilty," "due process" or the heretofor unquoted "better to let 100 guilty men go free than to have one innocent man be found guilty." In general: "ensure the rights of the accused." And I agree with that and certainly understand the arguement. I'd use it myself, in cases that aren't sex. assault/rape. And I'd be MUCH more concerned about due process and the rights of the accused in the court of law under prosecution by a state or federal government. However, IMO, in the exclusive and unique case of sex. assault/rape crimes, the defense of the accused standard needs to be relaxed b/c it WAY TOO OFTEN protects the powerful and guilty and works against the innocent and the victims. I've come to this opinion b/c 

  1. I think it's become pretty clear that our justice system/society has done a HORRIBLE job of preventing the crime of sex. assault/rape, perhaps moreso than in any other type of criminal conduct. The focus in our justice system on the rights of the accused has led to the imbalance as mentioned in point 2 above (IMO).
  2. rape/sexual assault is very aguably the most reprehensible crime that can be committed.

I guess the bottom line is, I'm willing to trade the potential that an innocent man be found to have misbehaved for the hundreds/thousands of rape/sex assault cases that would actually be reported (again, b/c women feel like they might have a chance with this lowered threshold). Overall, men should be just as afraid to commit sexual assault as women are afraid of to be victims of it. perhaps even more than that. Right now, that's not the case. But due to the T9 mandate form the Fed, that's beginning to change. I think the benefits outweigh the costs of this change, and thus think it's a good change. 

 

Year of Revenge II

January 29th, 2014 at 6:23 AM ^

Some days I am not so proud ot it, but I had my own practice in a farily big city as a criminal trial lawyer.  I have tried scores and scores of cases to verdict, at both the state and federal level.  I have tried scores of criminal sexual assault cases of all kinds with respect to defendants and alleged victims. (These are state criminal allegations; sexual crimes are essentially state violations, not federal)

I find it mildly amusing whenever I read the opinions of people like Section 1 (whose background I admittedly know nothing about), but whose understanding of the reality of the way the American justice system works in my opinion lacks both breadth and depth.  It's a little different than talking about football.

I do not have the time at this instant to engage in protracted debate; however, I find your analysis of this situation to be much more in line with reality than most others.

I am relatively disgusted with the way the some people employed by our athletic department have handled this matter, though I am not too sure that it would not have been far worse at most other institutions than UM.

I find the power and proclivity of the government and the police to buy into false allegations to be pretty scary, but I feel like you have a good grip on what actually happens out there.

Feat of Clay

January 29th, 2014 at 10:28 AM ^

I'm disturbed that in a discussion that you know is nuanced and complex, you have a hardee-fucking-har attitude towards how this touchy subject plays out for young men in this country who are just learning how to negotiate sexuality and being sexually active.  MOST young men are not rapists or abusers or scumbags, and yet they need to be sensitive and careful about this issue so they don't end up making young women feel victimized, AND so they don't end up vulnerable to allegations.   

That's a significant problem that we can address, or not.  I vote for the former.

There is a horrible past and present bias against victims, no question.  Does this justify not giving a shit about half our young population?  Does this justify not caring about innocent people?   

 

ifis

January 29th, 2014 at 11:11 AM ^

this claim is just false.  false accusations of rape and actual rapes are both serious problems in this country. the sad fact is that any instutional changes to protect against one injustice are likely to be susceptible to the other type of injustice.  it may be that the pendulum has swung too far one way or another, but false accusations do occur and they often ruin the lives of innocent people

L'Carpetron Do…

January 29th, 2014 at 12:05 PM ^

Precisely.  Should we point out a major case like FSU, the complete opposite of the Duke case?  This was an incrediby high profile case in which the accused got away with it despite plenty of evidence.  You're right - the number of rapists and sexual molesters who go free is a bigger problem than the number of false accusations.

There was a preponderance of evidence in the FSU case to say the least (I won't get into details for reasons of maintaining decorum).  

Winston got off scot-free with a fucking embarassing, chuckling press conference from the redneck Tallahassee DA who more or less gave him a figurative pat on the back.  

 

MGlobules

January 29th, 2014 at 2:12 PM ^

only 3 in 100 rapists serve time. It boggles the mind that some guys are so threatened by the idea of justice for something so ugly and so rampant that they cling to one or two widely publicized instances where false allegations were laid. Sociologists have spoken for decades of a rape culture in this country, and the bogus defenders ally themselves with it. 

The fact is that a lot of guys are raped, too--almost three million American men, by one count, many of them in the military. It is SO FUCKING IMPORTANT that they are able to speak out. This is a huge f'ing problem, and if my university, where I first learned to analyze and dreamed about fixing these societal ills is tucking it under the rug, I am really pained by that. 

If Section 1 isn't pushing a political agenda here--almost daily--I don't know who is. Let's push back with some facts. 

Section 1

January 29th, 2014 at 7:02 PM ^

Nobody wants a university to be "tucking it under the rug."  Nobody expects that.  Nobody wants that.  I certainly don't, anyway.

All I want, is to turn these cases over to law enforcement, to the extent that they impact criminal or quasi-criminal issues.

I don't want one individual guy to pay for "societal ills" with his reputation, if and when his substantive due process rights are violated.

Michigan Arrogance

January 28th, 2014 at 11:30 PM ^

NONE. I have no problem with Gibbons NOT being charged with a crime by the state or federal government.

I also have no problem with him being expelled.

 

THEY HAVE DIFFERENT THRESHOLDS of guilt. One is a prosecutorial threshold that would need to be upheld in a court of law by the state. the other is the 51/49 "perponderance of evidence" threshold that leads to expulsion from a university.

Look, I'm done arguing with about this b/c you refuse to accept that there is a difference b/t being charged by the state of a federal or state crime ... and being found guitly of breaking the students code of conduct at a university thru a "perponderance of evidence" threshold.

 

TreyBurkeHeroMode

January 29th, 2014 at 12:26 AM ^

In Michigan, the FOIA Act only exempts "Academic transcripts...if the transcript pertains to a student who is delinquent in the payment of financial obligations to the institution." However, state courts have found that releasing individuals' college or university transcripts falls under the "Information of a personal nature if public disclosure of the information would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of an individual’s privacy" exemption, in part because of the expectation of privacy under FERPA.

(Not a lawyer, but have had to become familiar with this for other purposes.)

gbdub

January 29th, 2014 at 1:00 AM ^

Given the severity and consequences of expulsion, WHY is "preponderance of evidence" appropriate when basically every college had determined "clear and convincing evidence" was the right standard until an unelected official enacted the weaker standard by fiat? And given that it applies to publicly funded universities?

I am well aware of the different standards, and I am very skeptical of them - defend them, don't just state them.

Section 1

January 29th, 2014 at 1:13 AM ^

Yes, two different standards.

First, there is the "guilt beyond reasonable doubt" standard.  Imposed under conditions/requirements of due process and equal protection in a court of law, using the state or federal rules of evidence.  That's a good standard, for something as serious as criminal guilt.  All alleged sexual assaults should be exhaustively investigated and, if warranted, prosecuted under that standard.

Second, there is the "preponderance of evidence" standard.  Which might be okay for civil or administrative matters.  But should never substitute for strict due process requirements in quasi-criminal matters.  That p.c. universities, under Obama-administration Dept. of Education rules are systematically dropping due process requirements in student expulsion/discipline cases is a large national problem.

I find it deeply disturbing that without sufficient evidence to charge Brendan Gibbons, he was nevertheless expelled in the present climate.  I find disgusting all of the posts all over MGoBlog, of people presuming that Gibbons was guilty of sexual assault, and that the police and/or university officials were guilty of having covered up the crime.

If there is a problem with sexual assaults, then investigate and prosecute them.  Offer any alleged sexual assault victims the full array of legal remedies under statutory and civil law.  Tort actions; personal protection orders.  But don't abandon the legal protections owed to the accused.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/08/30/on_sexual_harassme…

mackbru

January 29th, 2014 at 1:25 AM ^

The student, once expelled, has the right to pursue legal action against the university. Presumably, the university would not wantonly expel someone, for fear of exposure to a colossal law suit. It's the same as a company firing an employee for what it seems to be impropriety. The aggrieved party may then seek legal relief.

GoBLUinTX

January 29th, 2014 at 1:44 AM ^

Nobody will be successfully sued when all the defendent has to do is defend their good faith finding of preponderance of the evidence.  Furthermore, the University has lawyers on retainer v whomever Gibbons can get...but as any damages would likely be very little, he would find it rather difficult to hire an attorney.

On the other hand, wouldn't it be a hoot if there were non-disclosure clauses and it was found that the University or agent of the University deliberately leaked the story?

 

speakeasy

January 29th, 2014 at 6:41 AM ^

They can certainly sue on the basis of the standard being arbitrary (and given that it changed after Gibbons enrolled at Michigan that he should be subject to the standards he effectively agreed to when enrolling). He probably would not win a suit on the facts given the standard employed but the process itself is ripe.

enlightenedbum

January 29th, 2014 at 5:13 AM ^

There's no rape without a complaining witness.  Now, there are a number of potential factors that could lead to the woman in question making the decision to not go forward:

1) It didn't happen.  The circumstantial evidence (mostly the testimony of her friends as to her state of mind that night) and some of the physical evidence (vaginal trauma) described in the police report frankly does not fit this account.  I tend to err on the side of accusers personally because:

2) Shame.  Rape victims frequently are incredibly ashamed and blame themselves.

3) She knows that a woman accused of rape, especially against a football player or similar type of person (politician, musician, etc.; someone who will have large numbers of defenders in the public sphere) is frequently put on trial herself.  Particularly her sexual history.  Especially because she was drunk.  If not in court, because that's usually illegal, in the court of public opinion.

4) Taylor Lewan is a gigantic asshole who should have been charged himself REGARDLESS if a rape actually happened.  But the nice thing about his crime is for the woman to testify about it she has to talk about the rape allegations in court, which she didn't want to do either.  So he got off with a warning and will be a millionaire in a couple months, hooray.  Oh and he got everyone to write charming stories about his twosie and a fucking pig.

As a sidenote, "brunette girls" gets much, much darker if you know about this story.  I HOPE that Hoke wasn't informed until he was expelled, because:

a) he wouldn't need to have been since the whole thing happened over a year before he was hired and presumably the university wouldn't feel the need to inform him about it.

b) that's super gross if he did.

c) he has a daughter.

Year of Revenge II

January 29th, 2014 at 11:02 PM ^

I do not know how you profess to speak for "most people"; however, if you are correct in your guess, then I would say that most people are wrong in the their views in this regard according to the law of the land.  Rightfully or wrongfully is not the present point, those are political value judgments, the law makes it the decision of the prosecutor's office.

Go Blue in MN

January 29th, 2014 at 10:30 AM ^

that due process is present only where the standard is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  Due process refers to the right of the accused to contest allegations made against him in a meaningful way.  It has nothing to do with the standard of guilt/liability.  In many countries, there is a high standard without due process, and in civil suits in this country we have the preponderance of the evidence standard with due process.  Are you suggesting that our entire civil justice system fails to offer anyone due process because it doesn't use the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt?  I didn't think so.

L'Carpetron Do…

January 29th, 2014 at 12:07 PM ^

"That p.c. universities, under Obama-administration Dept. of Education rules are systematically dropping due process requirements in student expulsion/discipline cases is a large national problem."

This has nothing to do with due process.  You're not entitled to due process with regards to university discipline.  The students are not being convicted and punished for a crime.  You can be expelled by the university for several reasons that are not crimes/illegal. If school officials have sufficient evidence to boot you, you're gone.  It's not a double standard and has nothing to do with "PC universities" or Obama.  You have to abide by U of M's rules.  

And as another commenter pointed out , the students do have their own legal recourse to take against the university if they feel they were  wrongly, unjustly expelled.  They are entitled to due process and taking the U to civil court is part of it.

From what I understand, the case was pushed under the rug for several years because the victim was afraid to press charges, for fear of attention, retaliation, etc.  If you read the police report,  it seems like there is plenty of evidence against Gibbons.  But, since we're not in the position to try or investigate the matter we can't really say for sure if he is guilty or innocent.  

But. the way U of M handled this is embarassing.