Daily: AD Aware of Gibbons Decision 12/19

Submitted by Bando Calrissian on January 30th, 2014 at 9:22 PM

According to a Michigan Daily report, including information confirmed by Dave Ablauf via a phone interview, Brendan Gibbons met with Athletic Department officials and faxed a letter waiving his rights to appeal his expulsion from a Schembechler Hall fax machine on December 19th. Four days later, Brady Hoke announced Gibbons would miss the bowl game for a "family matter."


"At the latest, the Athletic Department was made aware of the permanent separation on Dec. 19, 2013, and it is unclear whether the football program or Michigan coach Brady Hoke were aware of the Office of Institutional Equity’s earlier finding that Gibbons was responsible for sexual misconduct. The Office of Student Conflict Resolution notified Gibbons on Dec. 19 that he would be permanently separated from the University.

“December 19 is whenever the letter was sent and the kid came to talk with the Athletic Department,” said Athletic Department spokesman Dave Ablauf in a phone interview with the Daily on Wednesday.

He later added: “That could have been the time that Brendan Gibbons talked to coach Hoke.”

Gibbons’ separation stems from an incident on Nov. 22, 2009, according to documents. This corresponds with previous media reports that Ann Arbor Police carried out an investigation of a Michigan football player related to an incident on that date.

The document was sent at 4:02 p.m. on Dec.19 from a fax number associated with the football program. Gibbons signed the document, waiving his right to appeal the sanction. It’s not clear from the markings on the document who received the fax transmission.

The letter was faxed from the offices of the football program four days before Hoke told reporters at a Dec. 23 press conference that Gibbons would not travel to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. due to a “family matter.” It’s not clear whether Hoke was involved in the Dec. 19 meeting described by Ablauf."



January 30th, 2014 at 9:58 PM ^

How hush hush are these investigations? I'm just wondering how the athletic department went a month without knowing their kicker was under investigation for this. I could see Gibbons not saying anything hoping nothing comes of it and maybe asking that it isn't released to anyone.


January 30th, 2014 at 10:00 PM ^

If this was Ohio State, I gotta say ... I'd try to be indignant, then think "yeah, this isn't really a big deal." I just find it hard to care that much how Hoke phrased Gibbons' absence. 

The story would be if we covered up the assault, or something juicy like that. There's a reason this hasn't blown up nationally (and won't, unless something crazy happens). 


January 30th, 2014 at 10:01 PM ^

is that a decision was not delivered to Gibbons (and could not have reached Hoke's attention) before the last game Gibbons participated in.

Not sure how our "feelings" as fans about whether or not Hoke lied to us any relevance in this discussion.


January 30th, 2014 at 10:02 PM ^

Is it safe to say that there is someone on the inside of UM that is unauthorized to do so but is feeding the Daily these docs? The first article expressly said that the expulsion letter was not provided to them by the university. Im pretty confident in saying it wasnt Gibbons that provided it to the Daily. Now they have the fax with his signature on it. Hmmm..the ironic thing is that I assume providing these items to the Daily is in violation of the FERPA rules itself.


January 30th, 2014 at 11:36 PM ^

The only other possibility is that someone could have taken it from Gibbons (if only for long enough to make a copy). Doesn't seem at all likely but maybe not entirely impossible.


January 31st, 2014 at 12:06 AM ^

I thought that's who he meant by "the only other party".  It hadn't occurred to me he might be referring to the other party to the dispute, because it seems extremely unlikely she would have had access to the particular letters that have been leaked.

It was lifted from Gibbons or it was lifted from the University. i don't see any other possiblities.


January 30th, 2014 at 10:12 PM ^

if it weren't so outrageous.  While many many people are proclaiming righteous indignation that Hoke might have misled people about a situation they had no right to have known about, there appears to be just two or three people outraged that the University, or agents of the University, is deliberately compromising legally protected private information.  

It boggles the mind.


January 30th, 2014 at 10:32 PM ^

information he related was that the letter had been sent on the 19th.  That Gibbons came into the AD office, presumably that day, and spoke to people.  He never said what Gibbons was doing in the AD office, what he said, or to whom he spoke.  And he never said that the letter was sent to the AD office.

Things are not clear about this letter business, even allowing that no letter has been made public.  The first time we heard about a letter the MD said it was a letter drafted on the 19th of December with a separation date of December 20th and addressed to Gibbons Florida residence.  Now we're hearing about a letter which Gibbons signed stating he wasn't contesting the proceedings and faxed to wherever.  I'm not sure we're talking about the same letter at all.  It could be the same letter, but why would Gibbons be returning a letter of no contest if a determination of expulsion had already been made?  It could be that Gibbons returned a letter of finding with a no contest and then a letter of expulsion was sent the same day.  

Like I said, time for things and names to start seeing the light of day.


January 31st, 2014 at 7:55 AM ^

Gibbons was entitled to appeal the expulsion decision (made by the OSCR panel) to a higher tribunal (an adminstrator, faculty member, and student).  He chose not to.  This was the decision he faxed back to the OSCR.

It has always been my assumption that Gibbons wasn't going to return to the university anyway.  He had graduated, he wasn't eligible for any more football, and he wasn't going to get even close to his master's degree with another semester of classes.  There really was no reason for him to return, and that probably made his decision to just go with the flow easier.  That's all speculation, but fits the facts.

snarling wolverine

January 30th, 2014 at 10:37 PM ^

I suspect a lot of the righteous indignation about Hoke's press conference quote is really just displaced frustration over Hoke going 7-6 this season.  

The guys leaking confidential informational are indeed committing a far worse offense, but they don't coach football, so people don't care.



January 31st, 2014 at 2:32 AM ^

He better win at least 8 games this season. I kinda think Ness will win two more to that 8 wins, so Hoke may have saved himself shedding Borges. But if he goes 6-6 or 7-5 he will be gone.

Though, I think Hoke has some good leadership qualities and with Ness and Mattison he will be sitting pretty in a couple seasons.


January 30th, 2014 at 10:04 PM ^

This whole thing to critize what Hoke gave as the reason Gibbons didn't play in the bowl game?  Sorry but this doesn't do anything for me.  What exactly would you have liked him to say and better yet, who gives a shit?   Gibbons was expelled, which assuming the allegations/stories are correct, was the right move.  Yes, you can be upset at how it was initially handled back in 2009 but to be upset at what Hoke said?   I'm sorry but I'm not  seeing it.


January 30th, 2014 at 11:34 PM ^


I'm pretty sure the OP (Bando) has said he was a huge fan of the Hoke hire. I'll let him answer that, but to say it's a witch hunt is paranoia. No one is saying what Hoke did is unforgivable. But we have the right to say it's not a good look, to say the least.



January 31st, 2014 at 2:37 AM ^

this past season everyone would be defending him. I don't know if he is the long term answer as our football coach but I'm betting he did not lie and was told what to say by the AD and Lawyers. He probably will not and cannot discuss this case.

I still support Hoke as head coach and I like his move (or DB move) hiring Ness. I really think he will turn it around plus he has some good leadership qualities that may help us win some close games in the coming season.

Bando Calrissian

January 31st, 2014 at 2:44 AM ^

The fact you think the only reason people are outraged about this is because of how many football games Michigan lost last year speaks volumes.

Michigan could have won the BCS championship this year for all I care, and I'd be posting the exact same thing.

Some things are about more than wins and losses. Players expelled for sexual misconduct, players who intimidate sexual assault victims, and coaches and athletic departments who are dishonest or disingenuous about investigating and/or addressing those incidents are a few such things.

The Leaders and Best should actually mean something, shouldn't it?


January 31st, 2014 at 3:09 AM ^

Gibbons was expelled. The football team -as it appears at least - did not interfere with any proceedings. Obviously what Lewan purportedly said is terrible. But...this idea that Michigan is somehow immune from players doing bad stuff? Come on.

Your anger is misguided. Why aren't you mad at RE for not kicking them off the team in 2009? Is it suddenly Hokes job to come in and retroactively dole out punishment for things that might have happened a full year prior?

I want Michigan to be the leaders and the best. But you're setting an impossible standard that you want Hoke to follow. It's, quite frankly, unfair given his seemingly good track record with disciplinary action so far. You really think Hoke would actively cover up the situation to keep Gibbons on the field? Well, he didn't. The worst he did was say something vague that could be interpreted as misleading. If that's our standard for the coach...they'll all fail.

NOLA Wolverine

January 31st, 2014 at 5:55 AM ^

Yeah, RIch Rodriguez and Bill Martin are the real story. If this incident truly was worth expelling Gibbons over, then they aught to strike Martin's name from the University history books and go squash Rodriguez for his buyout for gross misconduct. And Rodriguez had a history of making just TERRIBLE decisions when it comes to dealing with player conduct expectations (well, terrible decisions on many things, but this specifically here). Not suspending Jonas Mouton immediately for obviously punching a player on national telvision, desperately trying to get a felon who faced consequences for armed robery admitted to the university to play football, and the cherry on top of it all, Brandon Gibbons and this whole saga which took place under his watch to name three instances. 

Brady Hoke on the other hand appears to be on top of player discipline. Whether or not his one game suspensions are sufficient could be a valid question, but I would honestly believe it if you told me the first time he heard a word about this was on December 19th last year. This is a terrible event for Michigan Football that Rodriguez is yet again responsible for.

I don't blame Rodriguez much if at all for what this team looks like now under Hoke, but I sure do give him 100% of the credit for this clusterfuck. 


January 31st, 2014 at 12:22 PM ^

I'm not necessarily blaming RR either. I'm just saying that he's the one who should be receiving more criticism over the fact that Gibbons has been on the team since the incident. If it was that bad of a transgression, RR would have kicked him off in he first place. Acting like Hoke actively covered this up for 3 years is unfair to the man, who could essentially call it case closed when he got here. 

And I was responding to the idea that Michigan is no longer the leaders and the best in running a mostly clean program. For one thing - Michigan hasn't been immune to player misconduct, they're not THAT unique and haven't been for awhile. For another thing - I still believe even today that if you compare our program to the average football powerhouse, Michigan runs one of the cleanest ships out there. This seems like an isolated and bizarre incident involving one to two players. I'm not sure how that somehow points to some sort of lack of institutional control.


January 30th, 2014 at 11:20 PM ^

is charged with ensuring the protection of those documents.  Whether or not they personally provided the MD with the information isn't relevant, either way they didn't ensure the documents were protected. 

If there was nobody specific charged with that duty then there is somebody that should have been deligating that responsibility, and if they did not, it is they that did not ensure the protection of the documents.  We can do this all day long, but from MSC to the cat in the corner, there is somebody that wasn't doing their legally obligated duty.


January 31st, 2014 at 12:15 AM ^

You monitor outbound communications. You check your phone records for calls to the Daily, you look for outbound e-mails to the Daily, you check the fax records. You watch, you listen.

Maybe you find out, maybe you don't...but you sure as hell try.

I worked at a firm where each copy of a document handed out at a meeting had an unobtrusive unique mark on it, so if a copy ever found its way to the outside world we'd know whose copy it was. (Maybe that's common, and that's the only company I ever reached a high enough position to know about it.)

The point is there are things you can do.


January 31st, 2014 at 12:30 AM ^

I hope that someone knowingly commiting a felony wasn't dumb enough to use their work email of any equipment like a fax or desk phone, etc. that could easily be traced back to them.  I think we do have to find the leak but it would take something much more creative than a quick peep at the phone bill and sent emails.