February 3, 2014 - 11:24am
BY MATT SLOVIN
Bill Martin, who served as the University’s athletic director at the time the sexual misconduct incident involving former Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons is alleged to have occurred, denied Monday having any knowledge of those allegations during his tenure.
“An incident of that nature never came to my attention at all,” Martin said in a phone interview with The Michigan Daily.
The Daily reported last week that Gibbons was permanently separated from the University in December in relation to allegations of sexual misconduct reported to have occurred on Nov. 22, 2009.
“That never came up,” Martin said. “I know that one of the points that we would emphasize with every team and every player, not only in team meetings but in orientation at the beginning of freshman year, was code of conduct rules and how you behave and all the stuff that comes with common sense.”
Because the team hasn’t disclosed any actions it has taken in response to the allegations against Gibbons, questions have been raised as to when current Michigan football coach Brady Hoke and other athletic officials knew about the allegations against Gibbons and if they could have acted earlier. The University’s Office of Student Conflict Resolution found Gibbons responsible for the alleged conduct on or before Nov. 20, 2013, but Gibbons played in the football team’s Nov. 23 game at Iowa.
Martin expressed surprise at the amount of time that passed between the alleged incident and Gibbons’ permanent separation. He said players break team rules from time to time but it’s important to focus on how the team responds to code of conduct violations.
Martin retired on Sept. 4, 2010 and was succeeded by current athletic director Dave Brandon.
A spokeswoman for the Arizona football team wrote in an e-mail Thursday that Rich Rodriguez, Michigan’s head football coach at the time the alleged incident occurred, was unavailable for comment.
—Daily Staff Reporter Adam Rubenfire contributed reporting.