Colorado assistant Joe Tumpkin has resigned amid domestic abuse allegations against him, but the school’s handling of him has put head coach Mike MacIntyre under the microscope.
A Sports Illustrated story last week stated Tumpkin’s then-girlfriend came forward to MacIntyre and his wife in early December, with the coach pledging to handle the situation. The woman claimed to have suffered around 80 episodes of abuse from Tumpkin over a 2-year period, including one that prompted neighbors to call the local police department:
Earlier in 2016, she says she told MacIntyre during this second conversation, “the police had shown up at Joe’s apartment … [there is] a domestic violence call on file … a neighbor heard Joe beating me up.” She had lied to the police that night, she explained, by claiming that the violent sounds had been part of a consensual sexual encounter. The police bought it and left.
MacIntyre thanked Jane for the heads up, she recalled. According to Jane, he said that he had spoken briefly about the matter with athletic director Rick George, who was traveling, and “they were going to sit down together when [George] got back and decide what to do,” Jane said. After that call, and over the next three days, Jane’s phone was silent. She would not hear from MacIntyre, or anyone at Colorado Athletics, again.
In between those conversations and Tumpkin’s resignation, MacIntyre promoted him to defensive coordinator for the Alamo Bowl after Jim Leavitt left for the same post at Oregon. (The Buffs lost the Alamo Bowl 38-8 to Oklahoma State.)
With questions mounting how he could promote an assistant he knew had serious domestic violence allegations against him, MacIntyre offered this statement on Friday:
Upon hearing the allegations by Joe Tumpkin’s girlfriend, my initial reaction and foremost concern was for her safety. I reiterated that to her several times and confirmed that she was in fact, safe.
In the same conversation, I was clear in communicating to her my obligation as a university employee to notify my superior, which is exactly what I did. I can say I did everything necessary to ensure this individual’s statements were relayed immediately.
I would like to clarify the following reported statements:
There were two separate conversations. The first was her report to me of the abuse. In the second conversation, I communicated to her that I reported it.
Tumpkin was made the play caller for the bowl game because, at the time of the decision, there was no police report or legal complaint. This decision was approved by my superiors.
I want to be clear I unequivocally endorse the chancellor’s plans for improving CU’s policies and practices in dealing with matters of domestic violence and pledge that I and the entire football coaching staff will work to carry out our obligations under university policy.
With both the allegations against Tumpkin and MacIntyre’s subsequent promotion of Tumpkin on the record, Colorado AD Rick George in January rewarded MacIntyre with a contract extension through the 2021 season.