A Gibbons timeline (and a few undisputed facts)

Submitted by Erik_in_Dayton on January 29th, 2014 at 11:56 AM

I'm creating this because it seems that people are missing some of the important facts that folks dug up and posted in the front page thread on this subject.  (Mods, no hard feelings if you take this down.)  I've done my best not to interject any opinion into what is below.  My purpose in posting this is merely to try to have everyone on the same page as far as facts and timing.

2009 and earlier:  OSCR investigates sexual assaults for U of M but only does so if the complaintant cooperates.  They find someone guilty of sexual assault only if a "clear and convincing" burden of proof has been met. 

Late Nov. 2009:  The incident occurs.  Police reports are made.  Gibbons, of course, denies any wrong-doing...Not long after, Taylor Lewan allegedly threatens the young woman involved with rape if she presses forward.  I have never been able to determine whether Lewan admitted to making this statement.  Please let me know if you know otherwise...We don't know what happened internally to Lewan and Gibbons, but neither is suspended...EDIT: In fairness to Lewan, myself and others have inferred from a police report that Lewan was alleged to have threatened the young woman, but the police report in question is redacted as far as names (at least in the report available online).

Late 2009-Early 2010:  The young woman decides she does not want to press charges, thereby ending the state's investigation.  What OSCR does at this point is unclear.  

2011:  The federal government, via Title IX, tells universities that they must investigate alleged on-campus sexual assault regardless of the cooperation or lack thereof of the alleged victim.  It also tells schools to use a "preponderance of the evidence"  standard when evaluating guilt.  http://www.michigandaily.com/news/university-adopts-new-sexual-misconduct-policy-0?page=0,0 

Aug. 2011:  U of M institutes an interim policy designed to comply with the new Title IX mandate.  (See the link above.)  It appears that the interim policy complied with the mandate to use the preponderance of the evidence standard and to investigate sexual assault claims regardless of cooperation from the alleged victim, but the university's online explanation of this is, in my opinion, somewhat unclear.  http://studentsexualmisconductpolicy.umich.edu/faqs 

The implementation of the interim policy appears to have led more women to come forward to make complaints, as the number of sexual assault complaints made on campus rose from three in 2010-2011 to 62 in 2011-2012.  http://www.michigandaily.com/news/university-adopts-new-sexual-misconduct-policy-0?page=0,1 

Aug. 8, 2013: The Washtenaw Watchdogs blog brings the Gibbons incident back into the public eye.  

Aug. 19, 2013:  U of M implements its current policy, described by the Daily as the result of a two-year fine-tuning process of the interim policy.  (See all links above.)  The current policy unquestionably calls for investigations of alleged sexual assaults regardless of cooperation from the alleged victim and unquestionably uses the "preponderance of the evidence" standard regarding guilt.

Nov. 20, 2013:  OSCR produces a document telling Gibbons that a preponderance of evidence supports the claim that he committed sexual assault.  http://www.michigandaily.com/sports/former-kicker-brendan-gibbons-expelled-sexual-misconduct 

Nov. 23, 2013:  Gibbons plays against Iowa.

Nov. 30, 2013:  Gibbons does not play in the OSU game, purportedly because he is injured.

Dec. 4, 2013:  Gibbons meets with OSCR to discuss the findings against him. (See last link.)

Dec. 16, 2013:  Coach Hoke states that Gibbons may not play in the bowl game because of an injury.

Dec. 19, 2013:  OSCR produces a letter telling Gibbons that he is expelled.    http://www.michigandaily.com/sports/former-kicker-brendan-gibbons-expelled-sexual-misconduct 

Dec. 23, 2013:  Coach Hoke tells the media that Gibbons will miss the bowl game because of a "family matter."

A final note:  Dave Ablauf, in the Daily article linked above (the last link), states that the AD cannot comment on the academics or university standing of an athlete.  University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald also said in that article that he could not comment because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  One could quibble a bit about what Ablauf and people in the AD can say about Gibbons if they wanted to test the bounds of FERPA, but there is little doubt that U of M's legal people believe exactly what Ablauf said, namely that he could not comment on the relevant issues.  One errs on the side of caution in such circumstances...I point all of this out to say that Coach Hoke was never free to say that Gibbons was no longer at the school (save the unlikely event that Gibbons would have consented to this).  I don't state that as a comment on what he did say. 

EDIT: mackbru seemingly correctly points out that the school can at least arguably say whether someone is enrolled.  See the link below that describes a FERPA exemption for "directory information."  I highly doubt this covers saying that someone was expelled, but I am not a higher ed lawyer.  There may be some big grey areas here, and none of this post should be taken as legal advice (sorry - had to say that). 

http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/students.html 

 

Final final note: Credit to Don, Kilgore Trout, and guthrie for digging up much of what I posted above.  Also thanks to those in this thread who have made suggestions.

 

Comments

oriental andrew

January 29th, 2014 at 3:17 PM ^

Hoke was not at U of M when the alleged incident is said to have occurred, nor when the case was closed by the University.  Assuming the OP's timeline is accurate, the investigation was dropped almost a year before he was officially hired.  I'm taking on face value that he would have considered the matter resolved by the time he arrived on campus. 

If any coach should stand accountable, it would have been Rodriguez.

ijohnb

January 29th, 2014 at 12:55 PM ^

specifically, he has the duty to not tell outright lies as the head coach of the University of Michigan football team.  "Injury" and "Family Issues" are very specifically and objectively not "expulsion."  That is the biggest issue I am seeing here that lands pretty squarely on his (and his boss(es) shoulders.  That and exactly why it was deemed necessary to flat out lie to begin with.  The news of Gibbon's expulsion would have been bad, but explainable.  The matter was closed, he was properly on the field, the matter was re-opened, and now he will be properly not on the field.  Sure, there would be some negative opinions floating around, but all could rest as the letter of the law was followed.  Why the lies?

Pit2047

January 29th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

is not on the football field and you can't say he was expelled because of Federal privacy laws so you make up some other excuse to appease people.  Your football team doesn't need the distraction and there's nothing you can do so to me it's better to play it safe and say "family issues" which isn't an outright lie in my mind, it is related, than to try to say anything that might get you in trouble with the Feds and sued which is probably what the lawyers told him.

ijohnb

January 29th, 2014 at 2:56 PM ^

It is an outright lie.  Personal issues would not have been.  Internal matters would not have been.  Family issues is an outright lie and an explanation that rang false to me when I first heard it.  And that is a problems in and of itself.  In a situation like that, the precise wording is important.  The words matters.  That is indicative of a lack of preparation and a lack of understanding of the precise issues involved.  And I'm sorry, but that is the Hoke/Brandon administration in a nutshell. 

Pit2047

January 29th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

is not on the football field and you can't say he was expelled because of Federal privacy laws so you make up some other excuse to appease people.  Your football team doesn't need the distraction and there's nothing you can do so to me it's better to play it safe and say "family issues" which isn't an outright lie in my mind, it is related, than to try to say anything that might get you in trouble with the Feds and sued which is probably what the lawyers told him.

Pit2047

January 29th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

is not on the football field and you can't say he was expelled because of Federal privacy laws so you make up some other excuse to appease people.  Your football team doesn't need the distraction and there's nothing you can do so to me it's better to play it safe and say "family issues" which isn't an outright lie in my mind, it is related, than to try to say anything that might get you in trouble with the Feds and sued which is probably what the lawyers told him.

Pit2047

January 29th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

is not on the football field and you can't say he was expelled because of Federal privacy laws so you make up some other excuse to appease people.  Your football team doesn't need the distraction and there's nothing you can do so to me it's better to play it safe and say "family issues" which isn't an outright lie in my mind, it is related, than to try to say anything that might get you in trouble with the Feds and sued which is probably what the lawyers told him.

Pit2047

January 29th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

is not on the football field and you can't say he was expelled because of Federal privacy laws so you make up some other excuse to appease people.  Your football team doesn't need the distraction and there's nothing you can do so to me it's better to play it safe and say "family issues" which isn't an outright lie in my mind, it is related, than to try to say anything that might get you in trouble with the Feds and sued which is probably what the lawyers told him.

Pit2047

January 29th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

is not on the football field and you can't say he was expelled because of Federal privacy laws so you make up some other excuse to appease people.  Your football team doesn't need the distraction and there's nothing you can do so to me it's better to play it safe and say "family issues" which isn't an outright lie in my mind, it is related, than to try to say anything that might get you in trouble with the Feds and sued which is probably what the lawyers told him.

Pit2047

January 29th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

is not on the football field and you can't say he was expelled because of Federal privacy laws so you make up some other excuse to appease people.  Your football team doesn't need the distraction and there's nothing you can do so to me it's better to play it safe and say "family issues" which isn't an outright lie in my mind, it is related, than to try to say anything that might get you in trouble with the Feds and sued which is probably what the lawyers told him.

Pit2047

January 29th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

is not on the football field and you can't say he was expelled because of Federal privacy laws so you make up some other excuse to appease people.  Your football team doesn't need the distraction and there's nothing you can do so to me it's better to play it safe and say "family issues" which isn't an outright lie in my mind, it is related, than to try to say anything that might get you in trouble with the Feds and sued which is probably what the lawyers told him.

Pit2047

January 29th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

is not on the football field and you can't say he was expelled because of Federal privacy laws so you make up some other excuse to appease people.  Your football team doesn't need the distraction and there's nothing you can do so to me it's better to play it safe and say "family issues" which isn't an outright lie in my mind, it is related, than to try to say anything that might get you in trouble with the Feds and sued which is probably what the lawyers told him.

Pit2047

January 29th, 2014 at 2:37 PM ^

is not on the football field and you can't say he was expelled because of Federal privacy laws so you make up some other excuse to appease people.  Your football team doesn't need the distraction and there's nothing you can do so to me it's better to play it safe and say "family issues" which isn't an outright lie in my mind, it is related, than to try to say anything that might get you in trouble with the Feds and sued which is probably what the lawyers told him.

MikeCohodes

January 29th, 2014 at 7:17 PM ^

On Saturday night when the site was having connectivity issues due to the win over Sparty, mgouser Hoek had a post with over 250! instances of repeat in this thread here, and then his followup post also repeated dozens of times, resulting in him being responsible for 287 of the 351 posts in the thread:

http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/tom-izzo-and-injuries

It truly is a thing of beauty.

ColoradoBlue

January 29th, 2014 at 12:56 PM ^

What time, resource, or expertise does Hoke have to conduct a fair and balanced investigation completely separate from law enforcement and the University's investigation.  For cases like this - across the NCAA - there has always been one and only standard:  the ruling of the legal system.  When has any coach punished someone who local law enforcement decided to not even indict (when no "team rule" was clearly broken in the process)?  This university investigation is completely new, and has introduced a new wrinkle into this precendent.

guthrie

January 29th, 2014 at 2:48 PM ^

I'm not sure why you believe the only reason Gibbons wasn't charged is because the victim wouldn't cooperate.  If you've read all of the reports, it's very unlikely that the case could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  There are too many factual problems with the case that a defense attorney would have a field day with.

You may still feel Hoke should be canned but let's not jump to conclusions about why the case was or wasn't filed.

jblaze

January 29th, 2014 at 12:48 PM ^

1) Show us some evidence of anything Lewan did here. There is 1 rumor form 1 guy. It does not even state Lewan's name on this report

http://www.washtenawwatchdogs.com/um-police-report.html

2) The DA who read the police report thought there was not enough evedince to charge Gibbons, so why should Hoke read the same report and kick him and Lewan off the team?

I don't understand the blame being placed on Hoke or Brandon. In fact, if they were lesser men, they easily could have called in a favor with whomever runs the OSCR to back off Gibbons.

Also, I'll bet that FSU's version of the OSCR will do a cursory at best investigation into Jameis Winston's alleged rape case.

 

EDIT: Ment for Gameboy

turd ferguson

January 29th, 2014 at 1:17 PM ^

Jameis Winston entered my mind, too.  With this new "preponderance of the evidence" standard, does that mean that we should expect to hear something about Winston, Payne and Appling at MSU, the ND player involved in the Lizzy Seeberg assault (if he's still in college), and a bunch of other guys who were accused but whose cases never really went anywhere?  Or is this pretty Michigan-specific with how U of M is implementing it?

If the Gibbons thing is just the first example of a major change on universities across the country, this could grow into a pretty incredible story.

guthrie

January 29th, 2014 at 5:25 PM ^

I had exactly the same thought.  The new standard of proof is something which has to be implemented nationwide at public schools.  There's no choice in the matter. 

Given these new rules, one has to assume that investigations will now be opened against guys like the freshmen from MSU accused of rape a few years ago.

charblue.

January 29th, 2014 at 1:10 PM ^

And Hoke wasn't in a position to enforce any punishment until judgment was rendered by the university office reviewing the matter. 

The timeline as reported above leaves open the possibility that Gibbons was in fact injured at some point and that Hoke was justified in using that as an excuse to explain his absence. At least during the Ohio game. Not saying that is accurate, just saying the timeline gives him that out considering the handling of the rape complaint and a final judgment. 

A police report is simply that. It's a report of possible criminal activity and alleged wrongdoing. It's not a formal indictment. Police are charged with investigating crimes backed by witness corroboration and supporting evidence, not hearsay contentions.  

You don't violate people's constitutional rights based on police reports. And you don't revoke scholarships and deny school privileges without factual knowledge because you are subject to legal liability when you do. 

Whether Lewan should have been reprimanded, suspended or criminally charged for his behavior is an open question. But it wasn't Hoke's responsibility because he wasn't the head coach when he allegedly threatened the victim. You can't punish him retroactively when the victim didn't even pursue the matter. 

 

uminks

January 29th, 2014 at 1:23 PM ^

That should have been RR responsibility to kick Gibbons off the team after it happened. There's a good chance that Hoke did not know. I think Brandon did know.

It sounds like an independent investigator from the NCAA needs to come in and find out the facts. I don't think we will know the entire story until the facts are told. If the AD department told the University to sit on this until Gibbson was through playing this would require the resignation of Brandon and Hoke. But it may turn out that the case was only looked at after the victim or a witness filed a complaint earlier in 2013. We just don't know the facts to make a judgments about the AD or University.

oriental andrew

January 29th, 2014 at 3:26 PM ^

What he knew and when is open for debate, but the WHEN is not any earlier than he was hired in January 2011, at least 9 months after the investigation was closed.  As a new coach, if this did come to his attention, I'm sure he turned to administrators and to Gibbons himself to ask if this was of concern, and I'd assume they all told him no.  What is he supposed to do?  Hire a private investigator to dig up evidence against his own player?  Absurd.  

Take Hoke to task for telling outright lies as to Gibbons' status, but I think you're going down a pointless rathole here.  

Louie C

January 29th, 2014 at 1:55 PM ^

I think Huge is doing this for two reasons. First, he needs the callers. He knows good and well that whatever they had planned today is going to take a back seat this situation, and he knows that his switchboard is going to be on fire with UM fans trying to rationalize or condemn the actions of the program, and sparties calling in to troll.

Secondly, he is exemplifying a major problem that has run amok in the MSM. They want to be the ones that yell "first" when shit hits the fan; at the expense of journalistic integrity or having their facts gathered. This was sadly and embarrassingly displayed during the Sandy Hook shootings.

btrau

January 29th, 2014 at 12:07 PM ^

I don't care what Hoke was or wasn't at liberty to say, he flat out lied to thee dis & fans about the situation. For a coach who is well versed at coach speak the fact he told lies to cover up the situation rather than use the "violation of team rules" is alarming.

I don't want to hear he's a "Michigan Man" or how great of a guy Hoke is, in my opinion he screwed this up. And DB is as shady as they come. They both need to go after this.

GoWings2008

January 29th, 2014 at 12:10 PM ^

not withstanding, he may have screwed up what he should have said...but he didn't violate the law. And I think in this situation that would be job #1, especially since the alleged incident did not happen on his watch.

I think you'll find that most will disagree with you that Hoke needs to go after this. Me included.

btrau

January 29th, 2014 at 12:17 PM ^

Why throw out the injury & family issue excuses? Now that the truth is revealed it looks bad...like a cover up.

What I want to know now is WHEN did Hoke & DB know Gibbons case was being reopened? Because from that point forward he should have been suspended from the team. We all know DB is all about the brand and good PR. I bet they were hoping this would just go away. Now they will stay silent and not explain why they lied about Gibbons status for final 2 games.

GoWings2008

January 29th, 2014 at 12:20 PM ^

at that point had already happened, but the University was already at work investigating. All Hoke was revealing that he was no longer on the team/not playing/what have you. The reason, what he supposedly lied about, is not a liable act on Hoke's part.

LordGrantham

January 29th, 2014 at 12:22 PM ^

People keep throwing out the words "cover up," and it makes zero sense.  You cannot cover up a fact that you are legally obligated to keep secret.  Hoke responding with "no comment" would not have provided the media or the public with any more information regarding the true status of Gibbons.

Swazi

January 29th, 2014 at 12:24 PM ^

For OSU he was hurt. Someone on here said they saw Gibbons on crutches for that game. He didn't get expelled until December.

And he was at home with his family when he got the letter. So yeah, you could say its a family issue.

Not saying he shouldn't have just given the violation of team/school rules thing, just giving clarification of why he said them.

ColoradoBlue

January 29th, 2014 at 12:38 PM ^

It's not helping the discussion.  We don't know what would have happened had he been healthy.  For all we know, the injury provided a convenient means to buy some time to let the process wrap up while not throwing a kid under the bus or violating the law in the interim.