A story out of Colorado that, relatively speaking, has flown under the radar has added yet another layer.
CU announced Jan. 27 that safeties coach Joe Tumpkin had “resigned” his position in the midst of domestic violence allegations and was subsequently charged with multiple counts of assault. Monday, the Boulder Daily Camera writes, “he University of Colorado said that both Chancellor Phil DiStefano and Athletic Director Rick George approved of the decision to allow former assistant coach Joe Tumpkin to call plays at the team’s bowl game despite knowing about allegations of domestic violence against Tumpkin.”
An ex-girlfriend had accused Tumpkin of multiple acts of domestic violence dating back to 2015 and as recently as November of last year. She obtained a permanent restraining order against Tumpkin, of which the university became aware Jan. 6 and initially triggered a suspension.
Despite knowledge of the allegations — the alleged victim first went to the wife of head coach Mike MacIntyre with her claims — all parties agreed that Tumpkin would call the defensive plays in CU’s Dec. 29 bowl game in place of Jim Leavitt, who had taken the coordinator job at Oregon.
“With no official documents in hand from a court or an investigation by police, we felt we were not in a position to take any personnel action,” CU spokeswoman Deborah Mendez Wilson told the Daily Camera regarding the decision to allow Tumpkin to coach despite the domestic violence cloud hanging over their collective heads. “Rick George updates the chancellor on personnel issues and decisions routinely in their bimonthly meetings. The decision on who was going to call plays was made by Coach MacIntyre, and Rick George supported that decision.”
Tumpkin received a $15,000 bowl bonus for coaching in the game, part of what turned out to be a severance payday of nearly $80,000.