Mike MacIntyre contract approval on hold pending review of CU's handling of Joe Tumpkin case

The University of Colorado's regents plan to postpone a vote on whether football coach Mike MacIntyre should get a contract extension and a raise as they await the results of an external investigation into CU's handling of domestic violence allegations...

Mike MacIntyre contract approval on hold pending review of CU's handling of Joe Tumpkin case

The University of Colorado's regents plan to postpone a vote on whether football coach Mike MacIntyre should get a contract extension and a raise as they await the results of an external investigation into CU's handling of domestic violence allegations against a former assistant coach.

In early January, the Athletic Department announced that MacIntyre had signed a $16.25 million contract extension through 2021, noting that the deal was subject to approval by the Board of Regents.

The board had planned to take up the contract extension at its regular meeting this week on the Boulder campus, but instead plans to vote on it at some later date, after the regents better understand how top university officials acted upon learning of the allegations against Joe Tumpkin.

"The university is going to engage in some outside consultation on this situation and so we really need to see that investigation run its course before we take any further action on MacIntyre's contract," Regent Jack Kroll, a Denver Democrat, told the Daily Camera on Monday.

CU officials have not responded to questions about the nature of the investigation.

The board's change of plans follows a Sports Illustrated story that revealed that Tumpkin's ex-girlfriend contacted officials in the CU Athletic Department in early December — weeks before the department first acknowledged the domestic violence allegations publicly.

The ex-girlfriend outlined the domestic abuse in a phone conversation with MacIntyre in early December. Still, MacIntyre chose Tumpkin to call defensive plays in the Buffs' Dec. 29 appearance at the Alamo Bowl.

The Athletic Department suspended Tumpkin on Jan. 6, though a judge had signed a temporary restraining order against the Buffs' former assistant football coach weeks earlier, on Dec. 20.

Tumpkin was told to resign on Jan. 27 and was arrested Feb. 1. He is charged with five felony counts of second-degree assault. According to a police affidavit, Tumpkin's ex-girlfriend told investigators that he assaulted her more than 100 times over a period of 21 months.

Failure to report

It appears that MacIntyre, Chancellor Phil DiStefano and Athletic Director Rick George may have violated the university's in-house sexual misconduct policy when they failed to immediately report the allegations to CU's Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, which investigates instances of sexual misconduct, discrimination and harassment.

The university lists "failing to report" under a subheading that outlines prohibited conduct in the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance "Processes and Procedures" document.

The university's sexual misconduct policy prohibits intimate partner abuse, including domestic and dating violence, and requires any employee who is considered a "responsible employee" to promptly report information regarding "any possible sexual misconduct" to the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance.

A responsible employee is someone with hiring, promotion and disciplinary responsibilities, such as a supervisor.

In a statement released Thursday, George admitted that he "should have engaged our Office of Equity and Compliance right away."

DiStefano also acknowledged in a statement that he, George and MacIntyre should've reported the domestic violence allegations immediately, but failed to do so.

'Held to the same standards'

Kroll, who was elected to CU's Board of Regents in November by voters in Colorado's 1st Congressional District, also works on the Boulder campus as an assistant director of admissions.

In that position, Kroll said he's required by the university to report any information he sees or hears about possible instances of sexual misconduct, discrimination or harassment.

Though it's the responsibility of the university and individual CU departments to ensure that supervisors understand their reporting obligations, Kroll said he also believes there should be a layer of personal responsibility for understanding the university's rules and policies.

"When you're getting an incredible amount of salary from the university, whether it's a lack of training or not, it's your responsibility to know these policies," Kroll said.

Overall, Kroll said he believes the university has been doing "a really good job" prioritizing and supporting the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance.

But he wants to make sure that the campus treats everyone — including the chancellor, the athletic director and the head football coach — the same when it comes to following the rules.

If you go

What: Meeting of CU Board of Regents' Intercollegiate Athletics Committee

When: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: University Memorial Center, Room 245, Boulder campus

Cost: Free and open to the public

To view the full agenda: bit.ly/2c5rG17

More info: This is one portion of a two-day meeting on the Boulder campus. The board's regular meeting begins at 8 a.m. Friday in UMC Room 235.

"The question I'll be asking myself, given my dual roles here is, 'What would happen if someone much lower in the organization hierarchy failed to report something like this? What would happen to that individual?'" Kroll said. "We need to make sure that everybody's held to the same standards, regardless of their salary or position in the public light."

Kroll said he was disappointed and angry when he learned about the situation in CU's Athletic Department. He said he's not comfortable voting on a contract extension for MacIntyre until some sort of formal investigation is completed into how CU handled the domestic violence allegations.

"The contract definitely is not going to get voted on this time around and that's the right thing to do, given that we haven't had the opportunity to investigate this fully," Kroll said, adding that the chancellor decided not to bring the contract extension forward to the board this month.

Kroll said he's also uncomfortable with a bill moving through the Colorado Legislature that would allow the CU Athletic Department to bring forward an unlimited number of contracts for approval. Right now, the campus as a whole is limited to six employment contracts.

"We very well could've had a situation where Joe Tumpkin had a long-term contract and quite frankly, I'm not OK with that," Kroll said. "Why would we be putting ourselves in a situation where we have the potential to owe someone like Joe Tumpkin even more money than we had to negotiate for his resignation?"

When he resigned, Tumpkin was paid two months severance pay totaling $34,000, payout for unused vacation time equalling $29,607 and a one-time payment of $15,692 as compensation for coaching in the Buffs' bowl appearance.

'Contrary to our values'

On Monday, the Camera attempted to reach each of the nine regents in advance of this week's board meeting to seek reaction to the university's handling of the Tumpkin situation.

Top Athletic Department officials, including George, will spend two hours Thursday morning updating the board during a public meeting on a host of issues, including the department's finances, strategic plan, Title IX and student-athlete success.

Regent Irene Griego, the board's chairwoman and a Lakewood Democrat, said she couldn't say much about Tumpkin or the university's handling of the situation because it was a "personnel matter."

"I can tell you that we definitely take violence against anyone very seriously," Griego said. "It's contrary to our values, and the Board of Regents, I know they're very disappointed that CU didn't respond immediately to the complaint of domestic violence and the board expects our leadership to take the lead in preventing all forms of any type of sexual misconduct and intimate partner violence."

She said members of the board are awaiting the results of an inquiry into the situation before saying more. Griego said the board plans to discuss the issue in executive session — a meeting that is closed to the public — this week.

Later, a CU spokesman emailed the Camera a similarly worded statement from Griego on behalf of the nine-member board.

Republican Regent Sue Sharkey wrote in an email that she wasn't able to comment on the situation because it was a personnel issue and that she expects to be briefed later this week at the board's two-day meeting on the Boulder campus.

"My concern is for any victim of violence, and how the university addresses claims of abuse or violent acts," Sharkey wrote. "I'll be able interested to hear what changes are needed in the university's policies to ensure a clear, articulate policy."

Regent Linda Shoemaker, a Boulder Democrat, wrote in an email that she didn't want to comment until she had a chance to thoroughly review the facts.

"I was devastated and disgusted when I read the Sports Illustrated article," Shoemaker wrote. "As a policy maker, however, I need to know all the relevant facts before making up my mind on these issues. I look forward to reading the official inquiry report and hope it answers all my questions."

Glen Gallegos, a Republican from Grand Junction, said by phone that he hopes to learn more about the situation at this week's meeting.

"We're dealing with a bad situation, a tough situation, no question," Gallegos said. "I could give you all of my own opinions, but I don't know all the details and it would be premature for me to fill the air in the papers with stuff I don't know."

Steve Ludwig, a Democrat with an at-large seat, declined to answer questions when reached by phone on Monday. Heidi Ganahl, a Republican with an at-large seat, said she didn't have anything to add to the board chair's statement.

John Carson, a Republican from Highlands Ranch, reiterated the board chair's statement. And Kyle Hybl, a Colorado Springs Republican, did not immediately respond to emailed questions or phone messages.

Sarah Kuta: 303-473-1106, kutas@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/sarahkuta

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