Days after revealing that CU Buffs head football coach Mike MacIntyre would make a $100,000 donation to a domestic-violence fund to acknowledge mistakes made related to assault accusations against former assistant coach Joe Tumpkin, the University of Colorado's Board of Regents has approved a five-year contract extension that will give him a raise of nearly $1 million per annum, plus an additional $100,000 on the last day of 2021, when the pact expires.
The timing of these announcements suggests that mea culpas delivered earlier this week were intended to serve as cover for the head coach in the matter involving Tumpkin, who remained on the CU payroll for nearly a month after MacIntyre first spoke to the victim of what she describes as more than 100 assaults.
After the Tumpkin case broke on February 3, thanks to a Sports Illustrated exposé based on an interview with Tumpkin's accuser, CU Boulder put MacIntyre's contract extension on hold, and a CU representative speaking to Westword made it clear that the university wanted to avoid allowing the situation, and MacIntyre's role in dealing with it, to turn into a mess on par with a previous recruiting scandal from which the football program took more than a decade to recover.
"Obviously, when you have a history of things that damage the reputation of the institution like that, you want to be more attuned to them," said Ken McConnellogue, CU's vice president of communications and a frequent spokesman for the president's office and the board of regents. He added that the decision by CU chancellor Phil DiStefano not to put MacIntyre's extension before the regents until April at the earliest is "absolutely an indication of how seriously we're taking this."
No wonder, since MacIntyre and his wife, Trisha, were told about the assaults on December 9, 2016, and a restraining order against Tumpkin was filed on December 30 — but the assistant coach remained on the payroll until January 6, when a reporter for the Boulder Daily Camera asked CU associate athletic director Dave Plati for comment about the allegations against the assistant coach. Only then was Tumpkin suspended, and he resigned under pressure on January 27, after he was charged with five felony second-degree-assault counts and three misdemeanor third-degree-assault beefs.
The inexcusable nature of this delay was repeatedly acknowledged on Monday, June 12, when the Board of Regents unveiled the results of investigations conducted under the supervision of former senator Ken Salazar. DiStefano was suspended for ten days, and both MacIntyre and athletic director Rick George were directed to make $100,000 donations to a CU Boulder domestic-violence fund.
Peter Ginsberg, an attorney for the woman, described the penalties as far too lax.
"The idea that the athletic director and head coach responsible have punishments that pale in comparison to routine infractions is simply hard to comprehend," Ginsberg told the Daily Camera. "We are just so deeply disappointed in how CU has reacted to this serious breach of loyalty to my client and the community."
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Nonetheless, the Board of Regents voted 8-0 to approve MacIntyre's contract, with one member, Linda Shoemaker, not weighing in on the final results. As noted by BuffsZone.com, MacIntyre, who was previously paid an annual salary of $2 million, will receive $2.8 million this year, $2.875 million in 2018, $2.95 million in 2019, $3.025 million in 2020 and $3.1 million (plus that $100,000 bonus) in 2021.
As for the language of the contract, CUBuffs.com, the university's official football website, notes that "the contract has the same terms as presented to the board in February, with the exception of added language regarding training and reporting responsibilities."
In a statement about the new deal, MacIntyre says, "I appreciate the confidence in me the Board of Regents demonstrated by approving this extension. I look forward to continuing to contribute to the success of our student-athletes in the classroom and community and on the football field."
Not that the Tumpkin matter is truly behind him. Attorney Ginsberg has already filed a notice of claim, letting CU Boulder know that a lawsuit is in the offing.