University of Idaho athletic director placed on administrative leave

University of Idaho athletic director placed on administrative leave

University of Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear has been put on administrative leave for 60 days while investigators look into failures to report sexual assault complaints in 2012 and 2013.

Investigators and university leadership will look into why the complaints weren’t reported, what has been done since then, and what should be done in the future.

In the interim, Pete Isakson, associate athletic director, will serve as acting athletic director for day-to-day operations. Brian Foisy, vice president for finance and administration, will work with the athletics business office to manage the finance functions of the department.

“This is a challenging day,” said President Chuck Staben. “But understanding how we’ve handled situations in the past and how we can improve is essential. We have a responsibility to provide our students, and our student-athletes, with the best college experience and the most support possible. We are committed to meeting these expectations.”

In a release, the university said that during the investigation, they will take several actions to address the importance of safety, improved responsiveness, and accountability.

These include:

-Continuing an internal review and engaging an external investigator regarding behaviors of concern.

-Engaging an external consultant to help leadership better understand what has happened and bolster the training and support of sexual assault prevention, reporting and response throughout the university, with the goal of creating and maintaining an inclusive community where students feel supported for as long as they are part of the local community.

-Hiring additional help to address the workload in the university’s Office of Civil Rights and Investigations. Another position may be hired in the coming months. In the interim, this office will receive any additional support it needs.

More information on these steps will be revealed at the end of the 60 days.

“The goal is to make sure we better understand this situation and how we can both learn from our mistakes and become a leader in responsiveness and transparency,” Staben said.