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Report: Idaho AD's Response to Claims Inadequate

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Copyright 2018 Spokane Spokesman-Review

Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA)

 

Idaho Vandals

BOISE - University of Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear "responded inadequately" to reports of sexual assault and harassment by athletes in 2012-13, according to an independent investigative report commissioned by the school.

The report also cites a lack of policy education from the school that contributed to Spear's actions.

Spear remains on paid administrative leave and his long-term fate has not been determined by the State Board of Education, according to a memo sent to UI's community on Tuesday.

"The State Board stepped in" and will make the decision, UI spokeswoman Jodi Walker said.

School President Chuck Staben is in his final year at the helm because the State Board decided not to renew his contract.

The university doesn't know when a decision will be made, Walker said. The State Board doesn't have a meeting scheduled until Aug. 15, spokesman Mike Keckler said. The board has called two special meetings in recent weeks to discuss a UI personnel matter in executive session.

The UI independent report was released late Tuesday afternoon.

The case that sparked the investigation was a sexual assault complaint by diver Mairin Jameson in April 2013 against football player Jahrie Level. Jameson wrote about her experience, including Spear's response, early this year, and the Idaho Statesman followed that with an investigative story that uncovered two prior complaints to police and university officials by women against Level.

Spear emailed Jameson an apology almost five years after the incident occurred.

"We believe if Dr. Spear had made the same effort as his head football coach by apologizing in person and without trying to explain how the university failures caused him to respond inadequately, the university may not have to address these issues five years later," the report says. "An athletics director likely is viewed by student-athletes and parents as the primary face of the university administration. As such, taking an approach that problems resulted from university shortcomings, as if he or she is separate from the institution, is unacceptable."

"My initial reaction to the report was that it was focused solely on the policy," Jameson said. "It wasn't a full investigative report into what had happened prior to me bringing Jahrie to their attention. ... That's what concerns me."

The investigators were asked to examine whether the university properly addressed and responded to allegations of misconduct during the 2012-13 academic year; whether improper influence was exerted on the volleyball and soccer programs to support Spear; and what improvements have been made since.

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