To say I am disappointed with how the University handled the sexual assault accusations against former kicker Brendan Gibbons would be a massive understatement. I have never been more ashamed of the University I have so long proudly called my own.
The incident in which Gibbons was accused of assault was first reported to authorities in 2009. Almost four full years later, the University takes action by expelling him. The expulsion conveniently coincides with the end of Gibbons’ eligibility as a college football player.
Why did it take four years to investigate the accusation? Why was he allowed to continue playing and representing the University while such serious charges were leveled against him? What support, if any, did the University offer to the victim? There needs to be far more transparency into the entire process. It can’t stop here. It is simply unacceptable that the investigation took as long as it did, considering the absolute seriousness of the charges against Gibbons. We as a collective student body must demand more answers from University administrators. We absolutely cannot let this story die quietly.
Sexual assault and rape are incredibly catastrophic and life-altering tragedies that leave deep, and oftentimes, permanent wounds. I, for one, do not accept the University’s slow response and find the way the situation was handled appalling. All signs point to the University looking to cover up potentially bad publicity, and not doing everything possible to protect its students.
Is this the Michigan Difference?
Ala Alsaidy is a Engineering junior.