CU chancellor suspended, athletic director, football coach reprimanded after Tumpkin investigation

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BOULDER, Colo. -- The University of Colorado is punishing its chancellor, athletic director and football coach for their “failures” after domestic abuse allegations against former assistant coach Joe Tumpkin.

Chancellor Phil DiStefano will serve a 10-day suspension, and athletic director Rick George and football coach Mike MacIntyre have been ordered to make donations to anti-domestic violence organizations, the school announced Monday.

The announcement comes after a meeting of the CU Board of Regents after an investigation into how officials responded to a claim of domestic violence against Tumpkin from his ex-girlfriend.

In addition, DiStefano, George, MacIntyre and other school employees will undergo training in how to handle reporting domestic violence.

DiStefano, George and MacIntyre also will be given letters of reprimand.

"I think we have to learn form our mistakes in this regard," CU spokesman Ken McConnellogue said. "We have to have better policies and training. We need to make people aware of resources that are out there."

The investigation found there were three “failures” by the university, according to former U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, a partner at the law firm WilmerHale, one of two law firms that created a report on the incident.

The report cited a failure to report domestic violence allegations, a failure to report the information to law enforcement officials and a failure of supervision of Tumpkin.

“This has been a difficult time for the university community, and particularly for the woman who brought this to my attention,” MacIntyre said in a statement. “When she reached out to me, my first concern -- which I shared with her -- was for her safety. I immediately reported to the athletic director for direction.

“All of us involved have learned that we have additional reporting responsibilities, and we will follow those procedures in the future. I had never been in a situation where one of my coaches was accused of abusing a spouse or partner. But, as the regents and President (Bruce) Benson recognized, I never acted in bad faith.”

“We didn’t handle this matter as well as we should have,” Benson said. “CU does not and will not tolerate domestic violence or any sort of sexual misconduct.”

Tumpkin resigned from the university on Jan. 27.

He faces eight domestic violence charges, including five felony counts of second-degree assault and three counts of misdemeanor assault, according to an arrest affidavit.

The ex-girlfriend told investigators that she was assaulted more than 100 times over a 21-month period, according to the affidavit.

Tumpkin’s ex-girlfriend said she told MacIntyre about the alleged abuse in early December, long before the school first acknowledged the allegations publicly, according to Sports Illustrated.

Tumpkin was allowed to call defensive plays in the Buffaloes’ appearance in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29.

Tumpkin was suspended on Jan 6. He resigned from his position at the request of MacIntyre and George on Jan. 27.

After the Sports Illustrated story was published, DiStefano said in a statement that MacIntyre notified school officials of the allegations and that more should have been done.

“At that time, we believed that it was premature to take personnel action because there was no restraining order, criminal charges, civil action or other documentation of the allegation,” DiStefano said.

MacIntrye and the university reached agreement just after the season ended in January on a $16.25 million extension through the 2021 season. It needed to be approved by the Board of Regents.

The board was scheduled to take up the contract at a meeting last month, but it was put it off until regents get a better feel for how officials acted on the allegations against Tumpkin.

Philadelphia-based law firm Cozen O’Connor reviewed whether DiStefano, George and MacIntyre violated campus policies by failing to report the accusations against Tumpkin.

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