Findings of Fact and Recommendations

DoubleAlum

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I love Gopher football as much as many of you do. I plan to remain a fan and will be just as excited for every future game as I was before this incident. I don't really care who gets fired or stays because there's not much, if anything I can do about it. Besides, most Presidents, AD's and coaches don't seem very effective, rarely make people happy or will do really dumb things to hurt the University. It seems to be the nature of the game.

Anyhow, after much thought and after reading countless posts on Gopherhole, had I been the EEO committee, or some other student conduct committee at the "U", below is what I would have said. After issuing my report, I would've told Hutton to go ahead and sue the University. If a judge or jury ruled that the University breached its contract or didn't have grounds to suspend the players, so be it. I would be okay with that. I wouldn't care whether my decision was supported well enough by EEO guidelines or student code of conduct guidelines. I don't think the damages from such a lawsuit would amount to much anyways, especially since I am not concluding that the players assaulted the woman. So, here it is: in it's ineloquent, unsophisticated and perhaps poorly reasoned form.

"There exists significant conflicting information in this case, but here is what we do know:

1. Several members (at least 4 for certain, and more likely than not in our opinion at least 7) of the UofM football team admittedly had vaginal or oral sex with one female student in one 60 minute sexual encounter. That is not disputed.
2. Present at the encounter was a 17 year old football recruit. There is nothing in evidence to suggest that the female or the football players knew or should've known the recruit was aged 17.
3. One or more of the football players were responsible for hosting/entertaining the recruit for the evening.
4. One or more football players sent texts summoning more players to have sex with the female. We do not know whether the female requested this.
5. There was a video showing the female and the recruit and one football player having sex that appears to be consensual.
6. One football player stated to us that the female "wasn't into it" at some point during the incident and believes he heard her say she didn't want to continue. In addition, one or more players testified that the female complained of pain during the sexual encounters.
7. No one that we are aware of attempted to stop the sexual activity.
8. The female and one football player had made previous contact through Tinder.
9. The female stated she removed her tampon in the bathroom prior to the first sexual encounter.
10. One or more players made contact with the woman via text or social media after the incident.
11. The female pursued a TRO against football players and testified that she felt scared/unsafe on campus.
12. The female plead the 5th amendment in the TRO hearing when being asked a question regarding the recruit.
13. The female agreed to a revised, less restrictive TRO and agreed that she would not sue the players and the players could not sue her.
14. The female's lawyer stated after the TRO that the TRO request was never about "punishment".
15. The female underwent a rape examination, the results of which we do not know.
16. A week passed after the night in question before the police began to contact/interview players about the sexual encounters and inspect the apartment where the sex took place. The players were notified that the police were looking into the events of the night in question several days before the police made contact.
17. The county prosecutor determined there wasn't enough evidence to convict the football players of committing a crime.
18. The testimony to our committee of both the female and the players seems inconsistent and contradictory.
19. After the incident the female contacted friends via text about the incident.


Based upon the above facts:

1. We cannot determine whether sex without consent took place between the female and the football players or the female and the recruit. Nor we can say it is more likely than not that such sex took place without consent. In fact, we respect the fact the police did not even arrest the players.
2. We determine that certain football players attempted to cover up the incident and obstruct the investigation.
3. We cannot determine if any of the parties lied in the investigation.
4. We determine a,b,c,d,e.......football players engaged in conduct extremely detrimental to the football team and to the University.
5. We hereby recommend two year suspensions for each and every football player directly involved in, or present and aware of, the sexual activities that took place.

Reasoning
Due to their unique visibility to our institution and the community, our committee believes that members of the football team have a higher level of responsibility to the University to ensure that their conduct and behavior does not tarnish or bring shame upon the University. Moreover, we also believe that because of the unique benefits bestowed upon the football players (scholarships, meals, housing, tutors, clothing, medical, etc), they have a higher burden of responsibility to protect the integrity and reputation of the University and one of its biggest assets, the Golden Gopher football team.

We believe the players' overall conduct with respect to this incident will have severe, negative repercussions to the University including, but not limited to, its overall reputation, student applications, fundraising hardships, attracting professors and recruiting.

We believe the obstruction by the players of our investigation and the destruction of evidence was tantamount to a crime had this investigation been conducted by law enforcement.

We believe the players showed an utter disregard to their brethren teammates, the coaches, the students and the University as a whole by allowing a recruit to be involved in this incident.

We believe the texts we read by members of the football team showed an utter disregard for the respect and dignity of our female student body, faculty and the administration. Such texts seem indicative of the overall way these men behaved that night. The mere fact that none of the players had the decency to try to stop the encounters when the female stated she was experiencing pain, or was not enjoying herself as stated by one of the players, is sufficient to conclude that these players require punishment, rehabilitation and time away from the University to seriously reflect upon their behaviors that evening/morning. Their behavior that evening is even more egregious given the amount of time and energy spent by the University and the athletic department educating these players on how to conduct themselves and the situations in which to avoid or be careful. These players demonstrated an utter disregard of this information, an utter disregard of their teammates, coaches, parents, the community and the University.

Our recommendation relies heavily on the testimony of one player who stated he believed he heard the female say she wanted to stop the sex, and the absence of any evidence that a player attempted to intervene to stop it. Even if the female, for some unexplainable reason, wanted the encounter to continue, we believe the players had an obligation to intervene and stop the encounter if it appeared that something did not seem right. And we've come to the conclusion that it is more likely than not that one or more players knew this did not seem right. So, even if no crime took place (which we can not determine and are not trained to determine), we believe the players should've taken it upon themselves to stop and should've done so for many reasons.

We have not relied upon the statements of the female in arriving at our recommendations. In fact, we believe the statements and actions of the female hurt her contention that nonconsensual sex took place, although, again, we are simply unable to determine whether or not it did.

It is extremely important to make clear that we are not judging the sexual choices people in society make. We recognize that women and men exist in society who choose to have sex with numerous partners in one long encounter. We are not here to judge or decide the morality of such choices. Such a choice may provide great satisfaction and happiness for those people. In fact, we recognize that the incident in question may have begun as a result of such choice by the female. However, even if that were the case, we believe it is more likely than not that the encounter eventually changed course and the players should've stopped even if they felt the female had not made it clear that she wanted to stop."
 

Pompous Elitist

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As they are high profile students at the U (as you say) does the U then owe them heightened privacy and a formal hearing prior to suspension (as their reputations are at higher risk as high profile students)? Remember they have only gone through an informal EOAA investigation to this point and many of the players cannot be said to be a threat to campus safety even if the alleged victim's account is 100% factual. Have the 10 players been banned from campus housing, facilities, and grounds as threats to campus safety?

If not, why were they suspended prior to a formal hearing?

This is a serious question.
 

DoubleAlum

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Im sure the U has handled this negligently and wrongly called these guys rapists. I hope the U pays dearly for this. To your other point, i have no idea if they are dangerous and thats not my point. They are suspended from the U in my above recommendation for conduct that has damaged the University. Whether or not that is a violation of a code at the U, or whether or nothing ive violated wrong their due process rights I'm not concerned. Let a judge or bury figure figure that out when we get to trial. I want these guys suspended and to hopefully transfer because I believe they were jerks and are ruining our athletics program and shooting out reputation. I don't have to believe they raped her to come to my conclusion. Forgive me if this is a poor analogy, but if your daughter asked a group of people at school to punch her in the face cause she loved pain and got highly sexually aroused from it, and she started moaning in pain while teeth were falling out and her nose was broke, with 5 more people still in line to punch her, I hope you'd expect the last 5 to walk away in disgust and pity even if she was begging for more. If they didnt walk away, I imagine youd want them suspended from school for a awile even if she was begging for it.

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GopherinPhilly

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All the GH judges and juries aren't going to decide this...the problem is that the University has appointed itself judge and jury now and is biased and without protections and safeguards. The idea that Title IX requires the university to conduct investigations the way they are for sexual assault and rape claims is completely false...the University could bring in trained professionals, former judges and investigators, to conduct the investigation and make recommendations. This isn't cheating or breaking a window in the dorm stuff, this is labeling someone a rapist and kicking them out of school and the entire process is written and being run by people with an agenda and bias and the starting point of each investigation is that the complaint suggests that the event happened and the accused are presumed guilty until shown otherwise.

I don't know what happened in that apartment that night...I do suggest that based on what I have read/seen/heard that several players should be removed from team permanently and several others should be punished in some way...probably miss the bowl game. But when the police refuse to even charge a player and the EOAA recommends serious penalties against players when not seeing two crucial pieces of evidence that the police used to decide to not pursue charges (medical exam and 90 second video) I have an issue with it.

And while the U may be able to hide behind Title IX and their interpretation of it and the FERPA privacy sham that they cower behind...when it gets to Civil Court and testimony is sworn and rights are restored, I suspect the outcome will be very different than the U's Kangaroo Court of Injustice. And I do think the accuser will be just as likely to sue the U as the accused over how poorly they have handled this situation.
 

Some Day...Maybe

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The bottom line here is that what the opinion of the general public is, is going to matter most. We can argue this for years. If support for this program falls into an abyss the administrators will have no choice but to clean house and start over! And they would have to do this in the most definitive and effective manner. The opinions of some Gopherholers is not enough to support this program. It's not like this program has had a lot of support to begin with. It's not like it was a perennial winner and the only game in town. The bottom line for the football program and the players was a simple "do the right thing". That's all they had to do. If you can't see what the overwhelming number of people think on this topic and the apathy that is out there then you aren't seeing the world outside of the proverbial Gopher hole.


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justthefacts

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As they are high profile students at the U (as you say) does the U then owe them heightened privacy and a formal hearing prior to suspension (as their reputations are at higher risk as high profile students)? Remember they have only gone through an informal EOAA investigation to this point and many of the players cannot be said to be a threat to campus safety even if the alleged victim's account is 100% factual. Have the 10 players been banned from campus housing, facilities, and grounds as threats to campus safety?

If not, why were they suspended prior to a formal hearing?

This is a serious question.

Are you talking suspension from football, or from the University? If it's the latter, they have an opportunity for a hearing. If it's the former, players are suspended without formal hearings all the time. Jimbo Fisher suspended Jameis Winston for saying something offensive in a cafeteria.
 

Pompous Elitist

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Are you talking suspension from football, or from the University? If it's the latter, they have an opportunity for a hearing. If it's the former, players are suspended without formal hearings all the time. Jimbo Fisher suspended Jameis Winston for saying something offensive in a cafeteria.

Per the "process" they are entitled to a formal hearing within 30 days of notification of the EOAA decision, and even faster if the situation involves sexual assault (although "expedited" is not defined).

So I fail to see to need to publicly thrash these guys prior to the formal hearing unless it is purely a CYA public relations move by Mark Coyle.
 

Class_of_99

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6. One football player stated to us that the female "wasn't into it" at some point during the incident and believes he heard her say she didn't want to continue. In addition, one or more players testified that the female complained of pain during the sexual encounters.

I am on board with your finding of facts other than #6. Given that we do not have the transcripts of the interviews to confirm and/or provide context for the statement, this is not a fact at this point. You cannot attribute it to a player - you can could state: the EOAA reports that a player stated yada yada. It is almost like is UpNorth was on the EOAA and would put into his report that the girl clearly stated 'no' prior to the first sexual encounter - while omitting the context and the statement by law enforcement on this point. With the EOAA having no issues playing dirty pool - I want the transcripts before I believe anything from them.

Second, I almost feel as though the U needs to provide an overview for any communication that is for the general public as it is not reasonable to assume that the general public will take it upon themselves to read how the EOAA operates.

So, they should almost be forced to preface any release with something like the following:

"The EOAA is established under Title IX and is a University review board and not law enforcement body. As such, it lacks the investigatory power afforded to law enforcement which includes collection and viewing of evidence, subpoena power, etc. Unlike the actual US court system, the students before the EOAA do not have basic rights during the hearing such as the right to confront their accuser, the right to legal representation, or even the right to know the charge for which they are facing disciplinary action. The role of the EOAA is solely with regard to the University Code of Conduct and NOTHING they report should be confused with a verdict from the US court system. Although the terms used in the report may be similar to those used n the US court system, they are in no way reflective or defined equivalently as the US court system. In no way should any ruling by the EAOO be interpreted as a finding that any criminal act occurred as that determination is not with the scope of the EOAA."
 

justthefacts

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Per the "process" they are entitled to a formal hearing within 30 days of notification of the EOAA decision, and even faster if the situation involves sexual assault (although "expedited" is not defined).

So I fail to see to need to publicly thrash these guys prior to the formal hearing unless it is purely a CYA public relations move by Mark Coyle.

The players were suspended for the bowl game without any specifics. Serious question, has the University definitely released any additional information on the alleged "crimes?"
 



Pompous Elitist

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Why was it necessary to suspend? If they are a public danger why would the U allow them to remain on campus?

No decision is has been decided on but the students were outed -everyone knows about the police charges and RO. Interested parties may have leaked information.
 

Ski U Master

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Why was it necessary to suspend? If they are a public danger why would the U allow them to remain on campus?

No decision is has been decided on but the students were outed -everyone knows about the police charges and RO. Interested parties may have leaked information.

Because it's a PR nightmare. Legal or illegal, University suspensions or not, their conduct is a public embarrassment for the program. Playing in a football game is a privilege, not a right.
 

PMWinSTP

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The players were suspended for the bowl game without any specifics. Serious question, has the University definitely released any additional information on the alleged "crimes?"

The letter stated effective immediately University of Minnesota studentship will be ended resultant in the loss of all student rights and privileges. That's not just being suspended from the bowl game. Have you read the document?
 

PMWinSTP

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Because it's a PR nightmare. Legal or illegal, University suspensions or not, their conduct is a public embarrassment for the program. Playing in a football game is a privilege, not a right.

What gets me is the administration knew details back when the players were reinstated.
 



GoGophersUMN

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15. The female underwent a rape examination, the results of which we do not know.

Which could potentially be a crucial piece of evidence in the case.

Why would they ever come to a conclusion without having all of the key pieces of evidence? Could you imagine if a jury found someone guilty of a crime if there were pieces of evidence missing that were crucial to the case? If they knew there were significant pieces of evidence out there (this, the 90 second video, and the new piece of electronic evidence) that they didn't have, why would they come to a conclusion without them?

If I were the EOAA, I wouldn't have released the report and made recommendations because I wouldn't have seen all of the evidence.
 

Ewert86PC

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How about we stop running commercials with faculty stating "I am committed to hold governments accountable for past crime?"

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short ornery norwegian

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In today's media climate, once this information got out, a certain segment of the population determined the players were guilty. Legal rights aside, allowing any of the players to participate in the bowl game would have been a media nightmare. I'm not saying it's "fair," but realistically, I'm not sure the U had any other choice but to suspend the players.

Imagine if they had not been suspended and the EOAA report still leaked. The TV coverage of the game would have focused on the accused players - "and there's a tackle by X, who is under investigation for sexual assault." That is the worst-case scenario for the U of MN.
 

Ewert86PC

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In today's media climate, once this information got out, a certain segment of the population determined the players were guilty. Legal rights aside, allowing any of the players to participate in the bowl game would have been a media nightmare. I'm not saying it's "fair," but realistically, I'm not sure the U had any other choice but to suspend the players.

Imagine if they had not been suspended and the EOAA report still leaked. The TV coverage of the game would have focused on the accused players - "and there's a tackle by X, who is under investigation for sexual assault." That is the worst-case scenario for the U of MN.
+100

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atsgopher

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I love Gopher football as much as many of you do. I plan to remain a fan and will be just as excited for every future game as I was before this incident. I don't really care who gets fired or stays because there's not much, if anything I can do about it. Besides, most Presidents, AD's and coaches don't seem very effective, rarely make people happy or will do really dumb things to hurt the University. It seems to be the nature of the game.

Anyhow, after much thought and after reading countless posts on Gopherhole, had I been the EEO committee, or some other student conduct committee at the "U", below is what I would have said. After issuing my report, I would've told Hutton to go ahead and sue the University. If a judge or jury ruled that the University breached its contract or didn't have grounds to suspend the players, so be it. I would be okay with that. I wouldn't care whether my decision was supported well enough by EEO guidelines or student code of conduct guidelines. I don't think the damages from such a lawsuit would amount to much anyways, especially since I am not concluding that the players assaulted the woman. So, here it is: in it's ineloquent, unsophisticated and perhaps poorly reasoned form.

I like the spirit of your post. While I may disagree with a few bullet points, nonethless, It goes to the heart of my objections to the EOAA, but also respects the element of justice for the Girl. I think you are a hell of a lot closer to what I'd like to see out of the U than what we did see.
 




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