Reading Cozen O’Connor’s report on the Joe Tumpkin affair at CU brought to mind what is now known as Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice or conspiracy that which can be explained by stupidity or incompetence.
If you take the key officials at their word, as university consultant Ken Salazar of WilmerHale was happy to do, Phil DiStefano, Rick George and Mike MacIntyre were basically the blind leading the blind in an inept game of telephone. In every communication up the chain of command about allegations of domestic violence against Tumpkin, an assistant football coach, large chunks of important information were left behind. Collectively, they used that lack of information to justify inaction. None of them made any effort to get more. Each of the three was required by university policy to report the allegations to the university’s Title IX officer. None of them ever did.
Salazar, once a reformer and now apparently a fixer, takes everybody’s word for everything and assures us there was no bad faith. Cozen O’Connor is less credulous, remaining neutral on motives. University President Bruce Benson’s explanation for his slaps on the wrist — a 10-day suspension for DiStefano, mandatory charitable donations for George and MacIntyre, letters in the file — varies with the day of the week. On Thursday, it was because he knew those guys, knew their kids. On Friday, that had nothing to do with it.