Helpful Readers Help Unravel Gibbons Questions

Submitted by Seth on January 31st, 2014 at 5:06 PM

[Meta: I thought given the nature of subject it was better to break all this off from Dear Diary.]

duty_calls

Duty Calls (xkcd)

In the wake of news that Brendan Gibbons had been [Michiganese for] expelled for his 2009 rape allegation, there has been precious little more information made available, lots of questions raised, and a whole heck of a lot of judgments from people whose expertise=="I'm on the internet!" I'll admit to personally being one of the latter. However, buried amongst over 2,500 comments in Gibbons-related threads have been a few with actual constructive and helpful experiences to better help us understand what went down and why it took so long. A few suggested they had actual knowledge of the specific events and investigation, or second-hand knowledge speaking to his personality and reputation, but all had credibility concerns. Some were confronted and had their posts deleted when they couldn't back it up; those who named their sources stayed up but none really offer anything definitive.

The Timeline

User Erik_in_Dayton posted and has been updating a rather comprehensive chronology of the things not in debate. They are:

  • Nov. 2009-Jan 2010: Alleged rape occurs off-campus, was reported by the Ann Arbor News. Charges not pressed, end of criminal investigation. Another player, encountering the victim's friend, allegedly threatened the victim if she came forth, and this incident was reported to campus police by two other unidentified players. It is unknown what, if any, steps the university or the football team under Rich Rodriguez took at this time. This is the same month Dave Brandon took over as AD.

  • 2011: Rodriguez fired, Hoke becomes head coach in early January. White House decrees universities have to investigate all alleged on-campus sexual assault cases and use a standard of "preponderance of evidence." UM instituted an interim policy complying with this.
  • 2013: Local gadfly Douglas Smith publishes alleged details of the story on his blog "Washtenaw Watchdog" that purport to include information from the police investigation and information reported to the university, and paint a picture of a clear rape and possible intimidation. University finalizes its policy on September August 19 (MLive) . Gibbons informed there's a preponderance of evidence against him on Nov. 20 (prior to Iowa game); he plays. He doesn't play in the OSU game (he wasn't in pads but according to Upchurch's photos he stood on the sideline during the game), and meets with OSCR the following week, 12/4. On 12/19 he is expelled and sometime shortly after the AD's office supposedly becomes aware of this for the first time. On 12/23 Hoke says he won't travel w/ the team for the bowl game.
  • 2014: Proof of expulsion is leaked to and published by the Michigan Daily. UPDATE: After I posted this Mary Sue Coleman clarified that the university's decision did not involve the AD's office.

[Hit the Jump for best answers to the hard questions]

The Questions

User Cold War provided a few more bits of speculation after the WTKA show that conveniently serve as a starting point for addressing the known unknowns. I present those restated as questions, with counterpoints from the board:

1) Is Gibbons guilty?

The AAPD did not charge Gibbons, let alone convict him. On the other hand reported rapes are far more likely to be actual rapes than false accusations. You cannot completely discount the possibility that the accusation is false, because that happens. There doesn't seem to be a strong reason in this case, however, to disagree with the university's preponderance of whatever evidence they have. It is possible that evidence only covers part of the allegations and that the university is limited by the extent of its jurisdiction.

Public opinion is not held to the same standards as a court of law, and the fact that the university expelled him is strong enough reason to believe Gibbons may be guilty despite the lack of criminal charges.

2) Why didn't I read about this on MGoBlog before now?

I can answer for myself only. There were several points at which this appeared on the board. The first was in 2009, did not give the player's name, and I just didn't see it before the mods of those days unpublished it. The first I ever heard of it was 2011, when Washtenaw Watchdog pulled his stunt of handing out copies of the police report and his version of events at a Regents Board meeting, and this trickled out to the board. Actually a mod at that point had already unpublished it; I read the thread to double-check that decision and ultimately agreed with it.

At that time, given the well-established nature of the accuser (Smith), and the fact that Gibbons hadn't been removed from the team or apparently punished by the university or the justice system, there was a strong enough reason to doubt his guilt that it would not have been right to help publicize the allegations.

The second was last August when the gadfly published much of the same on his blog. At that time I discussed the matter with Brian and we determined to lock the thread (which had already gotten nasty) but to leave it so readers could find it and judge for themselves.

There are 280,000 unique visitors who come here every month, and publicizing a rape allegation would permanently damage that player's reputation. "Publicizing" includes publishing an FOIA'ed report of a case where no charges were brought, because far too many people will take the police report as fact rather than as a report. The effect on the accused would be akin to passing sentence, which is not the media's job. To do so without proof is incredibly irresponsible, Daulerioist even.

Lacking better knowledge, we'll trust that the proceedings of the various levels of justice—legal, campus, team, etc.—are functional. The downside is when they don't function properly we may fail to inform you in a timely fashion. The upside is we won't ever ruin somebody's life and then have to walk that back.

This goes for other players mentioned.

3) Did Rodriguez/Hoke/Dave Brandon believe Gibbons wasn't guilty?

…until at the latest, December 19, 2013 or sometime soon after, when there couldn't have been much more doubt? Maybe? This is a question we'd like answered but given the university's standing behind FERPA for even acknowledgement of the reason he was expelled, and it's a good guess their lawyers have made it clear they're not to be talking any more than they have to, I'm guessing it's going to be very difficult to pry those recollections out of them.

Fuller - 8360111600_8b2dcd9aa0_o
With apologies to Keith Stone.

Some readers questioned why Hoke wasn't forthcoming in the latest stages, e.g. did he know before the Iowa game that Gibbons had received his notice but hadn't appealed or spoken to . The university's reported timeline, which notes (at least someone at) the athletic office was informed on 12/19, is quite plausible since the AD's office is purposely kept out of the disciplinary system until a decision is to be announced.

4) Why did it take until 2013 to investigate an incident nearly 4 years old?

It is unclear and maddening, and the subject of the greatest speculation. Apparently, at least on the criminal level, 4 years to prosecute a rape case isn't unusual because of the psychological trauma to the prosecution's lone witness.

The inferral from the university and the Daily is the university's new policy on investigating all sexual misconduct, as an interim policy from 2011-'12 and a policy that went into effect right before the 2013-'14 school year began, created a different standard by which to judge the case and to initiate an investigation.

It is likely that because the initial incident occurred off campus, though it was, according to the police report, reported through university channels, the university didn't investigate it at the time. It seems likely that their first investigation began under the 2013 policy.

The interim policy and the real one are supposedly very similar, so the question remains why wait until September 2013 instead of launching this in November 2011 (when aforementioned gadfly Smith came to the Regents meeting with his letter). We have no lack for lawyers on the board, and many have speculated the university wouldn't take action (on a public case or any case) until it had an established policy, possibly for fear of the legal ramifications of doing so. That is, again, speculation.

The clearest guess to this answer is there was no criminal charges so nothing happened, and if the White House's mandate and the university's subsequent revision of its policy hadn't happened, nothing would have. Hail to better late than never.

5) If the victim wasn't saying anything, how did they proceed anyway? 

This was pulled from MLive's timeline today:

"The new policy does not require a victim to report an incident in order for it to be investigated. Instead, the university is required to investigate all reports of sexual assault regardless of who makes the report. The standard of proof needed is also lowered."

A complaint may initiate a review but—this is important—it appears it may have gotten nowhere without the cooperation of the victim. This may have been widely misreported by us because the guy who worked at OSCR who gave us context earlier left out an important part and later tried to rectify that:

Yes, my apologies for not making that clear in the initial post. The rules on "standing" to file a complaint are a little sketchy when it comes to *institutional* complainants (i.e. there were many occasions when Housing or DPS would file a complaint that perhaps *could* have been filed by a wronged individual but was *also* a transgression against general Housing/University policies). But in a case like this, the complainant would almost certainly be the sexual assault survivor herself. No need to worry about some random student/professor/staff member reading these allegations on MGoBlog and taking it on himself to file and pursue the complaint with OSCR. Sorry again for the lack of clarity on that topic in the initial post, was trying to fit a lot of information in and missed that fairly major point.

Takeaway: even if she didn't start it, it seems likely the victim cooperated in the 2013 re-investigation that led to Gibbons's expulsion.

6) Was there a cover-up by the university or the football program?

There is no evidence for one. The only action the university appears to have ever done to keep back information is claiming FERPA when asked to confirm the reason Gibbons was expelled. There is suspicion because we never saw any disciplinary action until he missed the Copper Bowl trip this year. The injury that kept him out of the Ohio State game is of course called to question. These all come back to "did Michigan try to hide this for the month after the university made its determination?" There's nothing to suggest a four-year cover-up spanning multiple coaches and ADs.

That said, specifically regarding Gibbons missing the Copper Bowl trip for "family matters," I co-sign this byMGlobules:

There's some annoyance on the board at Hoke's characterization of Gibbons's absence as owing to family problem. I share that annoyance--it's a mischaracterization and tends to elicit sympathy when some more sterile characterization would have done. But this remains a fairly small thing, and might have been what Hoke was instructed to do.

Which is a nicer way of saying this by Bando Calrissian. Lying to journalists: meh. Playing it like he did nothing wrong: wrong and unnecessary.

Motive too is a giant stretch. In late 2009 Michigan's season was over and Gibbons was redshirting. He'd be a plurality participant in the worst kicking season in school history the following fall. He was a decent kicker in 2011, by which time Wile was on hand. A scenario where they protected Gibbons to another player for sticking up for him in an epically stupid manner is facially ridiculous.

7) How do I explain this to Sparty/Bucky on Facebook?

If you're being trolled by someone looking to make a rivalry mark stretch as far as possible, ignore or un-friend this person. Rooting for your kicker to make field goals against their team is not an act that mean you condone horrible actions later found to have been committed by that player. Rooting for maximum PR damage to your rival to the point where you don't even care what the facts represent is as despicable as it is typical of RCMB.

8) How do I explain this to human beings with souls?

The legal system failed, and so did the university until years later when they finalized a policy the White House (i.e. the Education Department) told them to put in place in 2011, because prior to that universities routinely failed their students in this regard and most probably still do.

There's a lot that's unclear, and plenty you should hold the university and its athletic department and its football coach accountable for, even if answers never come. A conspiracy to cover up a rape isn't one of those things.

Also, and I mention this because my friend who worked in SAPAC said it needs to be repeated as much as possible: getting intoxicated impairs your ability to make decisions; it does not forfeit your right to make decisions. If you do get someone who's drunk to do something, and when sober they say they wouldn't have done it, you have made them do something against their will. People sitting around joking about "having sex with drunk chicks" constitutes a rape culture.

9) Brunettes?

It sickens me too. FWIW the shirts were taken down long before we found them to be creepy.

Comments

gbdub

January 31st, 2014 at 6:54 PM ^

Do we know for a fact this is the first expulsion? Out of how many accusations? If they really are going to stand behind FERPA, it's unlikely we know what constitutes an expellable offense.

Obviously they believe they have a preponderance of evidence that Gibbons did something pretty bad. It's fair to note though, that we don't (and probably won't) know exactly what that is. It's possible that what they are pretty sure he did would not be criminal, and it's also possible that what they are pretty sure he did would be criminal but for whatever reason would not be something he could be convicted for.

Basically, it's possible that both the University and the police did the best they could with the information and policies that they had. Both have their reasons for those policies - evidentiary standards are not something you change lightly. I just don't see proof of the motive, or the history, that would lead to a vast coverup conspiracy, or even necessarily a major blunder.

Shorty the Bea…

January 31st, 2014 at 6:43 PM ^

In response to the first comment, Ablauf specifically used the word "could've" met at that time and not "did."  He left himself wiggle room while the athletic department works to get their story straight.

Wolverine In Exile

January 31st, 2014 at 7:11 PM ^

Especially in light of Duke lacrosse, we need to be very careful about assigning "guilt". Gibbons was found in violation of violating a university policy on sexual behavior/assault under a burden of proof that I would argue is less than a civil suit much less a criminal trial. I wholly agree that something sketchy and unseemly occurred, but I'm having a real hard time rectifying the Sandusky like outrage when even the city/county prosecutor didn't even file charges much less go to trial. Taking advantage of a female in a vulnerable situation is reprehensible and with my strict Catholic morals, I find it disgusting and evil. But the wholesale assignment of "guilt" when we will never know the details of the university investigation, deliberations, and defense gibbons may have been allowed to file (if at all) strikes me as worrisome. Do we know if gibbons atoned for his actions? Was he a reformed actor in the 4 years since? I don't know. I wish I did. And I wish that we could know the whole truth, but sadly we probably never will.

gbdub

January 31st, 2014 at 7:12 PM ^

I agree with most of this, and thank you for assembling it, but I think 8 is a bit presumptuous. Even assuming Gibbons et al are fully guilty of everything they are accused of, it doesn't mean the legal system or university "failed". The standards for burden of proof, due process, etc. have been worked out over a long period of time and are always going to be a balancing act between providing justice for victims and protections for the innocent accused. The unfortunate reality in this messed up world is that wherever you draw the line you'll either have acquitted criminals or wrongly convicted or both. This is especially true when you're talking about a criminal act that is (in terms of evidence) often functionally indistinguishable from a totally legal act, except for the consent of both parties. There is no fingerprint dust for consent, sadly.

So I guess what I'm really saying is that the legal and university systems are imperfect, fallible even, but it's not necessarily productive to point to a specific case and say, "You failed here, change the system so that next time this exactly circumstance occurs the outcome is different". That can, and frequently does, make for bad law.

M-Dog

January 31st, 2014 at 9:56 PM ^

There are two different systems at play here - the legal system and the university system.  
 
The legal system has not changed and did not fail.  It is working the way it is supposed to.  If this case was new, it would still have the same result.  There is a certain standard of proof for a reason.
 
What has changed is the university system.  It has changed its standards of proof for what it believes is sexual misconduct.  As a result, it has grounds to dismiss Gibbons that it did not have previously.  This is the prerogative of the university.  Note that if it was a religious university, it could decide that any sexual activity at all, ever, is grounds for dismissal.  That does not change anything about the legal system.  
 
The legal system and the university system are not placeholders for each other.  The findings of one system do not mean that the other system should have those same findings.
 

taistreetsmyhero

January 31st, 2014 at 10:12 PM ^

"fail" with a context of the ability of the justice system to deliver justice in rape cases in general.

The nature of many rape cases makes it poorly suited to be handled by a burden of beyond a reasonable doubt, and this has played out historically in the fact that the ratio of rapes:convictions is damn near infinity.

Year of Revenge II

February 1st, 2014 at 8:50 AM ^

I take it you are speaking in hyperbole, because damn near infinity is just plain inaccurate.  You do make a couple of decent points though---he said, she said rape cases are hard, though I can tell  you from a lot of experience having tried scores of them to verdict, not impossible to prove by any means.  Circumstantial evidence and witness credibility play a huge role in these kinds of cases, and I have lost my share of them to good prosecutions and good prosecutors.  OJ case is classic example (though not a rape case) that could and should have been won by a decent prosecutor.  Marcia Clark was horrible, Darden was even worse. 

Most prosecutors are not good trial lawyers, though many of them are, and I would guess that Washtenaw County has plenty of good ones.  If the alleged victim had cooperated with prosecution, the case could have been won.

I could not disagree more with your implication that the burden of proof threshold should be lowered in rape cases.  It is a very slippery slope to Salem Witch trials once government starts down that path.

Njia

January 31st, 2014 at 7:17 PM ^

And I learned a few things about distinguishing between "sexual assault" (some form of which Gibbons is accused by the University of committing) and "rape" (which it does not appear he is accused by the University of committing). This is important because I have read the term "rape" many times on this blog and I think it's important to define what the accusation means and what it doesn't mean.

The distinction is not one of semantics. Generally, a sexual assault is a statutory offense wherein a person knowingly causes another person or persons to engage in an unwanted sexual act that may include coercion. Clearly that includes rape, but not all sexual assaults are rapes.

In the SAPAC definition of rape (some form of which probably still guides university policy 25 years later) the crime is as much (perhaps more) about power than sexual contact. In a rape, there is an assymetric power balance between the rapist and the victim. That dynamic can stem from the emotional, social, political, professional, organizational and even circumstantial relationships between them. A stalker leaping out from a dark alley is using fear to assert power and control over the victim. However, a boss, teacher, or other authority figure can also qualify as a rapist if he or she uses that difference in title or role to leverage control either explicitly or implicitly to coerce a victim into a sexual act. 

Many people who worked at SAPAC believed strongly that dynamic to be the defining criteria in all sexual relationships between authority figures and people under their direct or indirect control because of the implied coercion. In other words, all sexual acts between people in those circumstances could be defined as rape. I didn't agree, but I could understand the argument and there is some merit to it. 

Even in the '80s, SAPAC recognized that control and influence were often fluid, and matters could get very confusing over the issue of consent as it related to sexual assault (such as during a date or a "hookup"). That's why SAPAC campaigned very hard to educate students and faculty that "no means no", and to explicitly consent to any sexual acts, so that a bright line could be established between consensual and nonconsensual sexual acts - and this is important - at any time during the encounter.

I suspect that's where the whole case against Gibbons hinged. In 2009, if the police report is accurate, there was clearly an implied (possibly even explict) consent by both parties at one time or another for some form of sexual activity. The nature of that consent seems to have changed at some point, and it was at that point that Gibbons should have simply left and didn't. I recognize that in doing so, he would have countermanded the force of a billion years of evolution and the testosterone of an 18 year-old male, but that was by far his best option. 

From a practical point of view, the investigating officers in 2009 likely recognized that there had at least been an implied consent to some form or another of sexual activity. That fact alone probably made it unlikely that a prosecutor could ever win a conviction and Gibbons was never charged. It may also explain why it took until 2013 and a University policy change to re-examine the facts of the case an pursue disciplinary action against him.

GoBLUinTX

January 31st, 2014 at 7:17 PM ^

evidence that the AD knew of the expulsion on December 19th.  What has been alleged is that Gibbon's faxed a signed form from the office of the Athletic Department.  It has also been alleged that Gibbons spoke to unnamed persons at approximately the same time.  Neither of those allegations approaches the level of evidence to support the idea the AD knew about the proceedings.

Furthermore, you might want to extend your timeline to include MSC's letter from today clarifying that the AD was not part of the OSCR and OIE and had no influence in the proceedings.  That neither confirms nor denies the AD of having knowledge about the investigation, but it certainly gives credence to the idea that the AD was kept in the dark.  Additionally, it does nothing to confirm at what point the AD did become aware.

YoOoBoMoLloRoHo

January 31st, 2014 at 7:58 PM ^

the word "rape". Gibbons wasn't expelled or even tried for rape. That word needs to apply when it's truly applicable - otherwise the descriptor is actually softened in its severity.

Sexual misconduct is different, both in the group enforcing and the standard of proof and the charge.

Some posters have lobbed this term at Gibbons and the situation. It doesn't apply unless additional action proves it applies. Until then, let's apply the right words.

Seth

January 31st, 2014 at 8:58 PM ^

That was an editorial decision I made. I see both sides and agree there's a greater than semantic argument. On the other hand I don't want to come off like I'm mincing words. The university won't share what its finding was; the context and the seriousness and the police report all say it was a "powerful" act.

You may know better than me though: On a scale of 1-10, 1 being "just a quibble" and 10 being "you are reporting this exactly wrong" where does that stand?

Yeoman

January 31st, 2014 at 10:55 PM ^

I'm OK with "rape", which in Michigan isn't a criminal term. I'm uncomfortable with anything that seems to imply that there was a finding of a criminal act (with a lower standard of proof). The act they determined he probably committed wasn't necessarily a crime.

YoOoBoMoLloRoHo

January 31st, 2014 at 11:06 PM ^

I don't ascribe any malice intent by your choice of the word, but so many bloggers have used "rapist" and other pejorative references.

It might have been rape. It was sexual misconduct. Those two are completely different on many levels. He was clearly investigated and expelled under the latter. Sexual misconduct is serious enough to avoid the emotional arguments over the term.

I think it's severe enough to the accused, accuser, the law and UM that we should be crystal clear.

Jon06

February 1st, 2014 at 1:13 AM ^

If the initial police report is anything like accurate, it was (forcible) rape, and I see nothing to be gained by mincing words by substituting an umbrella term so broad that openly looking at gifs of Kate Upton at work would likely fall under it. So I wonder what it is that you take to be characteristic of rape in particular that you think is likely to be missing in this case.

Section 1

February 1st, 2014 at 11:05 AM ^

There is more than enough misinformation and public misunderstanding in this case already.

"Rape," as already mentioned, is not a criminal term of art in the state of Michigan (it is "criminal sexual assault, first-, second-, third-degree).  And "rape" is not part of the University of Michigan's formal student conduct and/or conflict resolution rules.

So, no.

Yet another good reason to have left this entire matter to criminal justice professionals and not univeristy administrators. 

Jon06

February 2nd, 2014 at 3:49 PM ^

It would be obviously wrong to use a legal term of art, e.g., "criminal sexual assault" in any degree, that does not apply. But "rape" is not a legal term of art, but a common noun that describes perfectly what occurred when our rapist kicker raped a woman. I cannot see any sense in which that fact supports your ridiculous position, but then again I'm not the kind of committed rape apologist you seem to be, so I can't really get inside your head on this issue.

GoBLUinTX

January 31st, 2014 at 10:04 PM ^

with the University of Michigan that predates 2009.  In fact, reading some of his screed I thought I was listening to my brother (he isn't), who's had a hatred for UM going for some 35 years now.

Anyway, the guy has no real concern and compasion for the young lady.  We know this because he didn't encourage her to seek an indictment, and he didn't encourage her to swear out a protective order against either Gibbons or Lewan.   Instead he has cynically used her case to bash UM on yet another topic to temporarily slake his hatred.

Section 1

February 1st, 2014 at 11:13 AM ^

The Ann Arbor News doesn't really exist; it is "AA.com."  And they didn't suppress the story.  They published a story about the incident when it happened.  Then they followed it, waiting for more criminal justice developments.  There weren't any.

Douglas Smith also declared that the Michigan Daily ignored the story.  Again, Smith is wrong.  The Daily did run a story about the incident and an arrest, in their very next edition.

Douglas Smith is wrong.  He's a reckless incompetent as a "reporter," a field in which I believe he has no professional training.

He probably doesn't realize that credible and prudent newspapers don't routinely publish the names of persons who are arrested but not charged in matters under ongoing investigations.

It pains me that there are credulous people like you who are willing to believe Smith.  I hope that there's a defamation suit in his future.

guthrie

January 31st, 2014 at 9:16 PM ^

I think we need some clarity on FERPA.  From my reading of the statute, the university is actually correct in saying they can't disclose anything beyond what we already know.

The people who are citing language from FERPA which states it doesn't prohibit schools from disclosing information are not reading the entire text of the FERPA sections at issue.  There are two paragraphs relating to a university's ability to disclose information.  Those fall under 1232g(b)(6)(b) (which I'll refer to as section B) and 1232g(b)(6)(c) (which I'll refer to as section C).

Initial reading of section B makes it sound like the university can disclose all kinds of information.  But it is later clarified by the subsequent section C.  
 
Here's section B.
 
(B) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an institution of postsecondary education from disclosing the final results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by such institution against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of any crime of violence (as that term is defined in section 16 of title 18), or a nonforcible sex offense, if the institution determines as a result of that disciplinary proceeding that the student committed a violation of the institution's rules or policies with respect to such crime or offense.
 
As I said, that certainly sounds like they can disclose all kinds of information.  But that's not the case.  All they are allowed to disclose is the "final results of any disciplinary proceeding".  Section C defines what "final results of any disciplinary proceeding" encompasses.
 
Here's section C.
 

(C) For the purpose of this paragraph, the final results of any disciplinary proceeding-

(i) shall include only the name of the student, the violation committed, and any sanction imposed by the institution on that student; and

(ii) may include the name of any other student, such as a victim or witness, only with the written consent of that other student.

 

As you can see, the only things they're allowed to disclose under FERPA are the name of the student (Brendan Gibbons), the violation committed (sexual misconduct) and the sanction imposed (expulsion).  Beyond that, they can only disclose the name of victims and witnesses but only with the consent of the victims and witnesses.

 

I was all ready to lambaste the university over their failure to share details and hiding behind FERPA.  But at this point, I believe they're correct in withholding the information.  It looks to me like they're not allowed to disclose any more than what they've already said.

 

I could be wrong, obviously, but I'm pretty sure this is correct.

guthrie

January 31st, 2014 at 10:27 PM ^

Actually, he doesn't.  He might think he does.  Or the author might think he does.  But he doesn't.  Here's the truly relevant passage from the article.

 

Goodman does note, though, that FERPA does not require Michigan to release information on this situation to the public. 

 

What FERPA requires is the disclosure of very generic items related to the final outcome of the proceeding, as I laid out in my post.  It does not require the release of information used to reach that final outcome.  

Another thing to note is that when interpreting statutes, courts generally look to see if specific items are laid out in the statute.  If there are specifics mentioned, it indicates that the intent of the statute is for those specifics alone and other items are excluded.  So when the FERPA statute says they can release the name, offense and punishment, it is implicitly prohibiting the release of any information other than that.

 

 

Yeoman

January 31st, 2014 at 10:59 PM ^

He says that disclosure is allowed "when a student has been found guilty or responsible as a perpetrator of a crime of violence, including sex offenses."

That sounds like it includes all sex offenses. It doesn't. The offenses for which disclosure is allowed are detailed in the statute and they do not include "sexual misconduct" as defined by the University.

SF Wolverine

January 31st, 2014 at 10:01 PM ^

And demonstrates a thoughtful approach to this over the relevant time. I think it would be great for the athletic department to issue something with some of the same sentiment, and to take some action that backs up the words. The Player #2 issues are as disturbing as the underlying issues. Standing up for a teammate is only all right if you and he are standing on the right side of the line.

pearlw

January 31st, 2014 at 10:10 PM ^

I went back and reread the initial Daily story. Are we certain that the Nov 20th letter was sent to Gibbons? The article refers to a document but in no place does it say that Gibbons was informed or sent the document. From the article, it almost reads as it could have been an internal document informing about the findings.

I was always under impression that on Nov 20th that Gibbons was sent a letter. However, in the article it is clear that the Dec 19th letter was sent to Gibbons but it nowhere states that the Nov 20th letter was sent or addressed to him. Here is the relevant section:

>>>>>>

An additional OSCR document signed by Vander Velde and dated Nov. 20, 2013, stated that it was determined by the University that a preponderance of evidence supports “a finding that the Respondent engaged in unwanted or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, committed without valid consent, and that conduct was so severe as to create a hostile, offensive, or abusive environment.” The Daily has been told that the respondent referred to in this letter is Gibbons.

AlwaysBlue

January 31st, 2014 at 10:23 PM ^

What strikes me is how crude Gibbons was in his account. One would think he might have cleaned it up for the audience. He didn't pretend it was anything but a quick act of gratification after which he went downstairs to talk to friends. So was he really that arrogant as to think he could assault a woman he knew and would continue to cross paths with or did he really not understand her to say no?

pearlw

January 31st, 2014 at 10:31 PM ^

In the last 5 minutes, the daily has revised the article about the fax. They added a section where Ablauf has emailed them today saying his earlier comments were inaccurate about a discussion between Gibbons and athletic dept officials on the 19th.

slimj091

January 31st, 2014 at 11:51 PM ^

i would hope that Hoke is a good enough father to raise a daughter to not attend, and get drunk at a frat party as a freshman.

i really hope you wouldn't be okay with your daughter being intoxicated around a bunch of horny frat brothers in her first couple of months on campus.

umumum

February 1st, 2014 at 1:08 AM ^

be considered anything but "victim blaming".  Seriously, who did you hang out with at Michigan?  Even drunk girls were safe among my peers.

edit:  I went back and looked at your earlier comments on this subject to see if I was misreading you.  God no, your other comments are just as repulsive.

slimj091

February 1st, 2014 at 4:59 AM ^

how would you consider my hoping that two different men are good enough fathers to raise their daughters to make wise decisions before sending them away from home for the first time in their life as victim blaming?

besides that what are you, and the OP trying to imply? that women are excused from poor decisions based soley on the fact that they are women? are we still living in the age where women are delicate little snowflakes that need to be looked after at all times? I thought we passed that years ago.

i ask again like i have in another post. would you be so outraged if I as a male were to have been raped by a woman while heavily intoxicated?

slimj091

February 1st, 2014 at 2:14 PM ^

i never said that just because a woman goes to a party, and get's drunk that it's okay to violate her. i said don't put yourself in that vulnerable state to begin with.

again i'm glad that you both have hung around such up standing citizens. however in my djing day's of my youth, and my bartending day's later i've seen women do incomprehensibly stupid things and men while totally smashed all in the name of "i'm having awesome time!!!!" it usually disgusted the hell out of me, and i have that time of my life to thank for turning me off of "party girls". which is why i couldn't watch jersey shore for more than thirty seconds without feeling the urge to throw up in my mouth.

look guy's. i know that forced non-consensual sex is rape. no if's and or but's. i'm not arguing that. i'm also not saying that women are "asking for it". what i am saying is that alcohol can make people think they want to do something that they would normally never want to do, it's only when the drug that has been imparing their usual better judgement wears off that they are disgusted. and that is not considering if that is the only drug that was in their system.

 

slimj091

January 31st, 2014 at 11:40 PM ^

"Also, and I mention this because my friend who worked in SAPAC said it needs to be repeated as much as possible: getting intoxicated impairs your ability to make decisions; it does not forfeit your right to make decisions. If you do get someone who's drunk to do something, and when sober they say they wouldn't have done it, you have made them do something against their will. People sitting around joking about "having sex with drunk chicks" constitutes a rape culture."

have you seen drunk women in any bar? i can walk in to the bar next to my house and i will more than likely see more than a handful of drunk women rubbing a part of their lower body on a man's crotchular region. would some of them regret doing so the next morning? probably... does that mean those men assaulted those women? no.

i have seen women (and men also) do incredibly stupid things while intoxicated. i have seen women take guy's who would normally repulse them while sober into the restroom to perform certian sexual acts with the mouth on them.

if i went into a bar, got completely schnockered, started waving my genitalia around, and ended up being taken home by a woman as big as a ford focus after nearing my black out stage. would i be able to file a complaint of rape against her? or would i just be a drunk with no self control?

i have a simple solution to this "drunk rape" situation. don't drink alcohol to the point where you lose control of your own actions. also... don't go to frat parties as a freshman. i've never attended college, and even i know that one.

 

IMRight

February 1st, 2014 at 1:20 AM ^

I don't think that is a coincidence that this came out around the time of the I Will campaign. I also would not be so quick to assume that just because the accuser did not want charges pressed 2+ years ago, that she didn't have a change of heart.

It is my understanding that this young lady has turned this horrible incident into a motivator and has become outspoken in campus about the issue of sexual assault.  To the point of being involved with SAPAC and other initiatives.