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Michigan gave kicker the boot for 2009 sexual misconduct violation in December

Brendan Gibbons AP

Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons was separated, or expelled, from the University of Michigan on December 20, 2013 as a result of an investigation in to an alleged sexual misconduct incident from 2009. This may shed some light on his status on the football team in the final few games of the 2013 season, but it also raises some others.

According to a report by Michigan Daily, revised university policies related to sexual misconduct on campus led to review of various allegations, including the case regarding Gibbons that had previously run its course. This ultimately led to the school’s decision to remove Gibbons from the university last December.

Michigan head coach Brady Hoke was named the head coach in Ann arbor after the Gibbons investigation had run its course during the Rich Rodriguez era. As far as he was concerned, Gibbons was eligible and available to play for the Wolverines without question. His handling of the re-opened investigation though is raising some questions from Michigan fans. If Hoke had been made aware of the re-opened investigation, which is a somewhat safe assumption, he certainly made no attempts to address it with the media.

On December 23, three days after the decision to remove Gibbons from the university was made official, Hoke only mentioned that his kicker did not travel with the team to Tempe, Arizona for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Kansas State. The issue shared by Hoke was Gibbons was dealing with a family matter. If Gibbons had been separated from the university, Hoke would have likely been made aware of that decision and appears to have hidden that piece of information when given an opportunity to address it. A simple violation of team rules is all that would have been needed and is the typical coach explanation when a player is in some sort of trouble. This certainly would have qualified as a violation of team rules.

Questions about Hoke’s handling of Gibbons during the regular season also are now fair to question given the information provided now. In the regular season finale against rival Ohio State, on November 30, Gibbons sat out of the game due to what was reported as a muscle injury. The injury supposedly happened earlier in the week. Given the timing, it is possible the university re-opened their investigation in to the Gibbons sexual misconduct case. Under those circumstances it is fairly typical to have a player removed from the team until the investigation comes to a conclusion.

We do not know for sure what exactly Hoke knew or was told, but if the head coach was kept out of the loop on this sort of case it is fair to ask why.

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22 Responses to “Michigan gave kicker the boot for 2009 sexual misconduct violation in December”
  1. michiganstillsucks says: Jan 29, 2014 9:02 AM

    They don’t call it scUM for nothing.

    What an embarrassment… SMH

  2. jrs45 says: Jan 29, 2014 9:11 AM

    Ummm so why did it take so many years?

  3. scoops1 says: Jan 29, 2014 9:17 AM

    if the kid would have made those kicks vs Penn St…would we really be having this conversation…?

  4. normtide says: Jan 29, 2014 9:26 AM

    Hoke is going into a must win year, if he was corrupt, the kid would still be on the team. Young men make stupid decisions, all across America, all across the world. It’s just as bad when you crush one program for it, while excusing your own. This isn’t a Michigan problem, it’s a human problem.

  5. stoicpaisano says: Jan 29, 2014 9:37 AM

    Hoke, Ablauf (Asst AD) and especially Madej (PR) should’ve a better statement ready. Failure of crisis communication to be sure.

  6. derekgorgonstar says: Jan 29, 2014 10:38 AM

    I’m a Michigan fan, so keep that in mind if you read this. However, please read the entire post before commenting.

    If the case was settled when Hoke got there, and Gibbons was found innocent, he should have been allowed to play.

    If the case was reopened, Michigan should have sat Gibbons, as they did, until it was resolved. I have no problems with Hoke being iffy with explanations for the suspension, coaches always do that.

    If Gibbons was still under investigation for sexual assault, and Hoke knew it, and played him anyway, he should be fired. Immediately. Athletic Director Dave Brandon as well.

    We Michigan fans like to mock the buckeyes for their players incessantly getting arrested, but this is all done in a tongue & cheek manner. We realize things happen at every school, but it seems like ohio seems to let it ride a little more than most fan bases, which seems like somewhat of a priority problem. In all honestly, players have gotten in trouble at Michigan before, (Marlin Jackson), and these are college age kids after all, but the Wolverines have always had less tolerance for it than some other programs.

    Yet no school, should ever, EVER, allow someone under investigation for sexual assault anywhere near a football team, or especially a college campus, where the football players are gods, and roughly half the people there are young women. The winning record of the coach doesn’t matter. I could care less if Hoke had Saban-level success. This is one of the worst crimes someone can commit.

    I love college football. I think if every fan base simply stated that things like this are unacceptable, and drew a hard line, it would force programs to investigate their prospects more closely.

    Stop worshiping athletes.

  7. cfballfan1 says: Jan 29, 2014 10:49 AM

    Derekgorgonstar- very fair assessment. If a coach can get canned for covering up for his players taking cash or gifts for autographs, then certainly any coach who knowingly plays a player under investigation for sexual misconduct or who keeps quiet about the same while the player in question is still playing – the coach should be fired.

    You’re absolutely right about holding coaching staffs and administrators accountable in these cases. If that was the expectation in the case at Florida State, would that investigation have been handled differently?

  8. mgmac says: Jan 29, 2014 10:51 AM

    Derek you make some excellent points. Urban did suspend Carlos Hyde for his incident however. And by the way,.my Dad was a Buckeye and one of his best friends from grade school to their graves was a wolverine. We can Al get along!

  9. grumpyoleman says: Jan 29, 2014 11:18 AM

    To be fair no criminal charges have been brought up and this occurred back in 2009 allegedly. Even if the matter was being re-investigated I don’t know that that would be enough to suspended someone under a violation of team rules. If he was truly guilty and the police or university swept things under the rug shame on them though. Only a handful of people know what really happened.

  10. thraiderskin says: Jan 29, 2014 2:41 PM

    So is the issue that the kid might have done something very bad or that Hoke didn’t inform the media the way they wanted him too?

  11. stoicpaisano says: Jan 29, 2014 2:51 PM

    ^ I’ll give Hoke the benefit of the doubt with Gibbons’ absence v. OSU being a legit injury, but he KNEW Gibbons was disassociated from the school–and thus, the program–a week before the BW-3 bowl. He may not have known the specific reason, but that’s neither here nor there.

    Thus, Hoke’s explanation about “personal reasons” was a bald-faced lie, and one that Madej/Ablauf should have protected Brady from. Either a “I only talk about members of the Michigan program” or “No comment, please talk to the SID” would’ve sufficed. I don’t think media/fans should be privy to everything, but they didn’t control the message well here.

    I don’t see anything that would make Hoke/the athletic department culpable for anything leading up to this. Gibbons is responsible for his actions.

  12. thermanmerman99 says: Jan 29, 2014 3:04 PM

    wow perfect timing for dwarfboy saban to recruit a kicker now for his convict infested bammer team. now every position on alabama can be true criminals to the max, dwarf saban is drooling over this news.

  13. normtide says: Jan 29, 2014 3:16 PM

    Hater in the house!

  14. Deb says: Jan 29, 2014 5:51 PM

    Sexual misconduct, huh? So if I had the IQ of a rabbit and the maturity of guys like thermanmerman, guess this would be where I’d post “only in the B1G” :roll:

    But since I’m not a prepubescent kid, on to the topic at hand …

    I don’t see the problem. The Michigan Daily report says the investigation was reopened because the university revised its policies regarding sexual misconduct. It seems reasonable that the kid would play while the investigation was in progress–and reasonable that the coach would keep information regarding the investigation from the media. Once the investigation was concluded, the kid was pulled from the team. The big point of contention seems to be that he didn’t spill all to the media while the investigation was ongoing. Good for him.

  15. rocket1988 says: Jan 29, 2014 6:22 PM

    Good for Brady Hoke? C’mon Deb, there was a rape kit that showed she was assaulted. Also, you have your captain and supposed All American Left Tackle intimidating the girl involved in the assault? There is not a lot of wiggle room or waiting to have your day in court. He should have been suspended when the allegations came out so that they could clear his name and THEN you could applaud Hoke and Brandon for protecting their players. Doesn’t matter who’s watch this happened on, if he did rape her I wouldn’t want to associate my coaching career on that player.

  16. jrs45 says: Jan 29, 2014 6:32 PM

    thermanmerman99,

    Who exactly is dwarf boy Saban? I have never heard of such a thing lmao!

  17. sparty0n says: Jan 30, 2014 2:59 AM

    Shortly after the woman reported the rape, she began to receive threats from Gibbons roommate and fellow football player, Taylor Lewan (now an All-American), that he would rape her again if she pressed charges against Gibbons.

    The threats were reported by two other football players to the Office of Student Affairs who reported them to the University police. The University police did a “wellness check” on the young woman and met with Taylor Lewan. They warned Taylor Lewan not to threaten the woman again and that he might face criminal charges. No criminal charges were ever filed by the campus police.

    There is more information like this out there. This is only a piece of the info. This story is going to continue to grow.

  18. waynefontes says: Jan 30, 2014 3:19 AM

    derekgorgonstar says:
    Jan 29, 2014 10:38 AM
    I’m a Michigan fan, so keep that in mind if you read this. However, please read the entire post before commenting.

    If the case was settled when Hoke got there, and Gibbons was found innocent, he should have been allowed to play.

    If the case was reopened, Michigan should have sat Gibbons, as they did, until it was resolved. I have no problems with Hoke being iffy with explanations for the suspension, coaches always do that.

    If Gibbons was still under investigation for sexual assault, and Hoke knew it, and played him anyway, he should be fired. Immediately. Athletic Director Dave Brandon as well.

    We Michigan fans like to mock the buckeyes for their players incessantly getting arrested, but this is all done in a tongue & cheek manner. We realize things happen at every school, but it seems like ohio seems to let it ride a little more than most fan bases, which seems like somewhat of a priority problem. In all honestly, players have gotten in trouble at Michigan before, (Marlin Jackson), and these are college age kids after all, but the Wolverines have always had less tolerance for it than some other programs.

    Yet no school, should ever, EVER, allow someone under investigation for sexual assault anywhere near a football team, or especially a college campus, where the football players are gods, and roughly half the people there are young women. The winning record of the coach doesn’t matter. I could care less if Hoke had Saban-level success. This is one of the worst crimes someone can commit.

    I love college football. I think if every fan base simply stated that things like this are unacceptable, and drew a hard line, it would force programs to investigate their prospects more closely.

    Stop worshiping athletes.
    ————————————————–

    Aw, Derek… why not just post “SEC SEC SEC” like you do on other posts?

    You’re a loser, just like your football team.

  19. waynefontes says: Jan 30, 2014 3:28 AM

    SEC! SEC! SEC!

    Come on Derek, this only happens in the SEC. That’s why you always post “SEC! SEC! SEC!” on any negative article regarding an SEC school.

    Oh wait, this is your school so you have to get serious. You have to post a long diatribe.

    Big 10! Big 10! Big 10!

  20. wingsdjy says: Jan 30, 2014 10:37 AM

    @waynefontes

    So…after 9 minutes, you felt the need to essentially post the same thing taunting Derek? SMH

  21. derekgorgonstar says: Jan 30, 2014 11:31 AM

    @wingsdjy

    Go easy on him. I live in SEC country, we’re lucky he even knows how to use that funny computer thingy.

  22. Deb says: Jan 30, 2014 12:17 PM

    @rocket1988 …

    Sorry … I haven’t followed the case and knew nothing about victim intimidation since it wasn’t mentioned in this article. Obviously that’s not something I’d condone and hope Hoke wouldn’t either, if he was aware of it. Unless the evidence is overwhelming (caught in the act), the accused is innocent until proved guilty. Based on this article, it seems Hoke let the investigation take its course and removed the kicker from the team as soon as it was concluded the allegations had merit. The only reason I said “good for him” was because he apparently kept the press out of the loop until the investigation was completed. That’s better for the victim as well as the accused.

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