CU Hires Lawyers to Review Handling of Allegations | Athletic Business

CU Hires Lawyers to Review Handling of Allegations

The University of Colorado has hired attorneys who specialize in institutional response to sexual violence and gender-based harassment to review the university's handling of domestic violence allegations against a former assistant football coach.

According to the Daily Camera, Leslie Gomez and Gina Maisto Smith will be examining the case of Joe Tumpkin, whose ex-girlfriend complained to CU head coach Mike MacIntyre in Deceember that Tumpkin had abused her repeatedly over two years. Tumpkin was allowed to call defensive plays in the Buffaloes' Dec. 29 appearance in the Alamo Bowl. He was suspended by the athletic department on Jan. 6 and asked to resign on Jan. 27. On Feb. 1, he was arrested and later charged with five felony counts of second-degree assault.

"We are looking at what occurred and when, if our policies were violated, or whether those policies should be modified to better explain the reporting (requirements)," CU Board of Regents Chair Irene Griego said in a prepared statement during the regents' meeting Friday.

For reasons unrelated to Tumpkin, Gomez and Smith in September 2013 conducted an external audit of CU's sexual harassment and sexual assault policies and procedures, as well as its compliance with Title IX. At that time, the attorneys made several recommendations for how the Boulder campus could improve its sexual misconduct policies and procedures, and CU leaders followed through on many of those recommendations, according to the Daily Camera.

The university created the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance on the Boulder campus in 2014 and several new positions therein since, and also recently revised its system-wide sexual misconduct policy.

The new investigation will look at how chancellor Phil DiStefano, athletic director Rick George and MacIntyre responded when the allegations against Tumpkin came to light. On Thursday, DiStefano said he didn't report the allegations because he didn't think he was required to do so, based on his reading of university policy.

A recent investigation by Gomez and Smith of Baylor University's response to claims of sexual assault by football players led to the firing of head coach Art Briles, the suspension of BU's athletic director of the demotion of its president.

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