Update: Athletics will withhold comment while investigations are pending
Christopher Sampson, the University’s communication director, told the Green Bay Press-Gazette Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 20) that Intercollegiate Athletics would refrain from making any public statements related to sexual assault allegations involving two men’s soccer players until investigators have completed their work.
“This is a very serious matter, very serious allegations, and the public has a right to know how the University and Phoenix Athletics are addressing this,” Sampson said. “At the same time, it would be unfair to the students involved in and affected by this incident, and counterproductive to the investigation, to make any sort of statement until the facts are more firmly established. That’s why Athletics will publicly address the specifics of this case, and general questions about the program and student-athlete conduct, only after these independent reviews are complete.”
University police are pursuing a criminal investigation into the allegations and will likely forward a report to the Brown County District Attorney’s Office later next week. The UW-Green Bay Dean of Students Office is conducting its own separate, independent review of possible student misconduct issues. That report, also expected next week, could result in disciplinary sanctions, suspension or expulsion from the University.
Additionally, Sampson said, Phoenix Athletics officials are also conducting their own internal review. Just as possible student-misconduct issues are being evaluated by the Dean of Students regardless of the outcome of the criminal investigation, Athletics will make a separate determination as to the two men and their status with the program. The two were suspended indefinitely last week because of the severity of the matter and their need to focus on the accusations against them.
In response to a specific request posed earlier in the day by the newspaper, the University did confirm that this is the first player suspension during the tenure of current head coach Tom Poitras that involves an allegation of criminal conduct or serious student misconduct. Poitras joined the program in January 2004.