University of Idaho officials have placed Athletic Director Rob Spear on administrative leave in the wake of a sexual assault reporting scandal.
A recent investigation by the Idaho Statesman found Spear did not inform the dean of students office after a student athlete on the swimming and diving team reported she had been sexually assaulted off campus by a university football player in 2013.
The football player was later expelled after UI’s Judicial Council found he had “more likely than not” violated multiple rules in the student code of conduct.
Spear eventually learned of the allegations from the Moscow Police Department, but says he didn’t report it to the dean of students office as required by federal Title IX regulations. He later acknowledged that was a mistake to the Statesman.
In a press release announcing the move, UI officials say investigators will use the 60-day suspension to “work to better understand process failures in reporting sexual assault complaints in 2012 and 2013, what has been done since then, and what should be done in the future.”
“This is a challenging day,” said UI President Chuck Staben. “But understanding how we’ve handled situations in the past and how we can improve is essential. We have a responsibility to provide our students, and our student-athletes, with the best college experience and the most support possible. We are committed to meeting these expectations.”
Last week, Staben defended Spear during an Associated Students of University of Idaho Senate meeting, calling him a “role model” in the athletic department’s implementation of sexual assault prevention training after the reported incidents came to light, according to the Statesman.
Associate Athletic Director Pete Isakson will take over as acting athletic director in Spear’s absence.
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