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Colorado chancellor Phil DiStefano will be suspended 10 days and athletic director Rick George and head football coach Mike MacIntyre will each be required to donate $100,000 to domestic violence awareness for their handling of domestic violence allegations against former assistant coach Joe Tumpkin.

The school announced the punishments Monday after a meeting of the Board of Regents. A law firm’s outside investigation of the allegations made by Tumpkin’s former girlfriend found the university responsible for three “failures,” as reported by the Denver Post:

  • a failure to report domestic violence allegations;
  • a failure to report the information to law enforcement officials; and
  • a failure of supervision of coach Tumpkin.

The law firm, Wilmer Hale, found the behavior of DiStefano, George and MacIntyre to constitute “mistakes” rather than “bad intent.”


Tumpkin’s former girlfriend called MacIntyre to describe her allegations in December 2016, reportedly speaking to him for more than 30 minutes and detailing two years of abuse as documented in an interview she gave Sports Illustrated. The most recent incident had come a few weeks earlier, as she later described in a restraining order request, when Tumpkin allegedly pinned her against a wall, choked her and dragged her on the ground by her hair.

MacIntyre told George and DiStefano about the conversation, but none of them reported it to the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance or to law enforcement. A week after his phone call with Tumpkin’s ex-girlfriend, MacIntyre appointed Tumpkin the interim defensive coordinator for the Alamo Bowl to replace Jim Leavitt, who had just been hired away by Oregon. (MacIntyre later said he went ahead with the promotion because “at the time of the decision, there was no police report or legal complaint.”)


Nine days before the bowl game, his ex-girlfriend filed a temporary restraining order against Tumpkin with local police. George, the athletic director, released a statement that day saying that the department was analyzing the “very serious allegations in this filing” and that he would discuss taking action with MacIntyre after he’d had a chance to review it.

Of course, MacIntyre had first brought the allegations to George’s attention nearly a month before. George ultimately decided to suspend Tumpkin—but a week after Colorado had played (and lost) its bowl game. Two weeks later, when a judge made the restraining order permanent, Tumpkin was asked to resign.


[Denver Post]

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