Allen confident in handling of Ellison

In handling the suspension of sophomore running back Morgan Ellison, Indiana coach Tom Allen is confident he and the university have handled everything by the book.

Ellison was suspended indefinitely from all football activities on Aug. 24. According to a report obtained by the Indianapolis Star, Ellison is facing a 2½-year suspension from the university after a sexual misconduct hearing panel earlier this month found him responsible for sexually assaulting a fellow student.

The Star reported that the panel determined Ellison sexually assaulted the student while she slept, then used force to continue the assault after she woke. Ellison has not been criminally charged.

The university allowed Ellison to return to practice on Sept. 13 while the case was being adjudicated. Ellison stopped participating in practices altogether on Oct. 3, the same day the panel handed down decision.

“The reality is we followed all the applicable university rules and policies that our department has, that the university has, followed them all, (and) everything I was told do,” Allen said.

Allen declined to explain why Ellison was permitted to return after he was initially held out of practice. Because Ellison appealed the panel’s decision, Allen said after Saturday’s loss to Iowa that he could not comment further.

“It’s an ongoing situation that still has not been resolved, so I can’t comment about that,” Allen said. “But I feel very confident that … I followed the things exactly what I was told to do. I believe in the system we have in place, the policy we have at our university for this type of situation, and have confidence in what they’re doing, and therefore I just tell the truth and do what I’m told.”

20 comments

  1. Zero respect left for TA. This is a tough situation but given circumstances Ellison should have not been allowed back on team until the situation fully resolved. He still could have talked with him or whatever. If someone is asleep or unconscious if gives you no right to pursue contact of any kind. I don’t care what the University or Athletic department rules are. Just ask Baylor if you want to go down that road. Despicable

  2. So now T.A. is guilty by accusation. You have no idea what T.A. new or when he knew it, so you calling him “despicable” for allowing Ellison to practice is inappropriate. Sounds like he followed the rules to the letter. If not, I’m sure our hyper-risk-averse AD would have fired him by now.

  3. Jeff, jumping to conclusions without the facts in the case isn’t the way to go. We have no idea what info and orders coach Allen was given. I am confident he would have not have Ellison practicing if it were up to him. It is entirely possible the University told coach he must allow Ellison to practice to avoid lawsuits and to not harm the process leading to suspension. There was more to this story than Ellison and the woman as consideration had to be made to anticipate how Ellison and his legal support would respond to team and university actions. I would hope you would wait to judge coach until we get more info.

    1. Tom Allen didn’t have to say it was a good thing that ME was back practicing with the team where they can help him. Help him? Poor, poor choice of words. I’m not a guilt by accusation guy, everyone deserves due process, but reading the girl’s story in the Indy Star, there was more than enough to keep him away from the team. And if the admin wanted ME practicing with the team, TA could have said it was their decision and he was abiding by the decision until the matter was concluded. No need to comment further. But the way it came out sure sounds like he sides with Ellison. Ellison’s defense is not that the event did not occur, but that it was consensual. Reading the poor girl’s story, it’s pretty clear she did not consider it consensual and is very damaged by what happened. Whether or not he is ever prosecuted for rape, “helping” Ellison should not have been the concern.

    2. I guess the same could be said of Urban Meyer…..It’s very possible he was told by the “university” (Ohio St) to allow Zach Smith to come to practice. I’m sure OSU was clinging to “reasonable doubt” to avoid legal action from Mr. Smith in the event he would retaliate with a wrongful discharge/libel lawsuit.

      With all due respect, v-13, it appears you’re assumptions that Allen has done everything right with the Ellison allegation operates in a world different than what I recall in your assumptions Meyer and OSU did everything wrong.

      I hope the culture in our IU locker rooms is not one beholden to the old standards of objectifying women. I often wonder how things sold as traditional values and faith doctrines also infect a certain resentment or duty of power over the opposite sex. It all begins with sincerely held beliefs in equality and respect toward women in the households young men grow up…It is also critical that the same messages are sent from the role models/father figures/coaches who have the power to step in and help defend against objectification via there own words/actions/rebuking of talk that removes dignity from another human being.

      Can we do much better in how our society/leaders our treating and speaking of women…..? And it’s not a one way street. There are fame and financial trappings that can cause anyone to abandon decency and exploit cultural biases/stereotypes/objectification in serving their power/greed/purpose to make such sick diversions into a norm. It’s tough for many young people to find appropriate role models of decency.
      There are many symbols of what we sell as decent and good…but I fear many of the symbols are simply used to disguise or substitute for common decency.

  4. I don’t know the specifics. I haven’t seen the article. I’m sure folks in Indiana have more access to reports than myself.

    Two things.

    1. Due process should be carried out.

    2. Men have been allowed to walk away from incidents of sexual assault for far too long. It is time to stop. Perpetrators must finally be held accountable. It is a stain on society.

  5. Put rapists in prison. But from the genesis everyone is innocent till proven beyond a doubt guilty. I don’t believe that is in the University’s purview. If this should go to court(as it should)and Ellison was found innocent the University would be in a shadow and in a vulnerable position.

  6. Jeff H, I have two daughters. One graduated from Arizona and one graduated from IU (two notorious party schools). Both are attractive women and both got a lot of attention from men while in college (and still do). If either of my daughters would have accused a man of sexual assault, I would support them to the fullest in seeking justice and protecting other women from a predator. But what does that have to do with accusing a football coach of being “despicable” before knowing all the facts? The risk in these situations is that emotions, especially of late on this topic, can displace rational thinking and allow people to jump to conclusions, and that’s when things get really dangerous. That’s why presumption of innocence and due process are so important. “Better a guilty man go free than an innocent man be convicted of a crime he did not commit.”

    You’re calling for IU to fire Tom Allen because he allowed a young man accused of a crime to practice with his team. Even though all the facts were not yet in and no criminal charges have been filed against that man, as far as you’re concerned, the accused is guilty and so is anyone in position of authority who had contact with him. That type of thinking is really dangerous, and it’s why due process and the presumption of innocence are essential to maintaining a free society.

    Every male entering college should be required to attend a short but intense class, as part of freshman orientation, educating them on what is and what is not acceptable behavior when interacting with women. They should know, beyond any reasonable doubt, what behaviors are inappropriate and considered criminal sexual assault. They should be taught how to think ahead and avoid getting into situations that they would regret and that could cost them their freedom. And they should know, in brutal detail, the $h!&-storm they will be subjected to if a women accuses them of sexual assault and the penalties they will suffer if they’re found guilty of such crimes. These young men need to have the fear of God instilled in them. And every female needs to be required to attend a short but intense class, as part of their freshman orientation, that educates females on how to minimize the risk of sexual assault. Such classes won’t eliminate all sexual assaults, but if they save just one young women a year from suffering an assault, or if they prevent one young man from being accused of sexual assault, then the time and money spent “educating” these kids will be worth every penny spent. It’s a shame that we have to rely on Universities to teach young people what parents should be teaching their kids well before they get to college, but that’s the world we now live in.

    1. Seems like practicing football should be your last concern when a sexual assault charge is being levied. Presumption of innocence, indeed…But does finagling your way back to practice put the coach in a position to prop you up as wholly innocent while he does not have a total grip on the facts?

      I think many of us were jumping to a conclusion that returning to practice meant there was nothing there. It uses IU and Allen as a defense of character ….thus amounting to a public persona defense to influence opinion. The university may be seemingly in a legal bind, but they should also be very careful to not use the institution/IU Football/Coach Allen’s fine character as a means to sway public opinion in a manner that could undermine the judicial process.

    2. These young men need to have the fear of God instilled in them.

      Yes, agree! It’s worked so well with Catholic priests.

      I say they should have more fear of my Herman Killibrew Louisville Slugger if they believe being behind a locked door with my daughter/son allows them a right to overpower or assault her/him. Their white collar, crucifixion tattoo on bicep, or heavy chain necklace about their neck symbolizing purity shall be my target practice…if they feel “God” will ultimately forgive them(and, thus, why they have abandoned their fear and my child’s rights of dignity).

  7. Podunker. Where did I say fire Tom Allen I think he should not allowed back until situation was fully resolved. He could still support the kid if he wanted to. Your daughters are probably only 7’s.

  8. PO, you are absolutely right about this: Every male entering college should be required to attend a short but intense class, as part of freshman orientation, educating them on what is and what is not acceptable behavior when interacting with women. They should know, beyond any reasonable doubt, what behaviors are inappropriate and considered criminal sexual assault. They should be taught how to think ahead and avoid getting into situations that they would regret and that could cost them their freedom. And they should know, in brutal detail, the $h!&-storm they will be subjected to if a women accuses them of sexual assault and the penalties they will suffer if they’re found guilty of such crimes. These young men need to have the fear of God instilled in them. And every female needs to be required to attend a short but intense class, as part of their freshman orientation, that educates females on how to minimize the risk of sexual assault. Such classes won’t eliminate all sexual assaults, but if they save just one young women a year from suffering an assault, or if they prevent one young man from being accused of sexual assault, then the time and money spent “educating” these kids will be worth every penny spent. It’s a shame that we have to rely on Universities to teach young people what parents should be teaching their kids well before they get to college, but that’s the world we now live in.

    Universities are having these sessions and I have no idea if this is done or not and I would like your idea of intensive class sessions to be put in place. It should include legal ramifications along with societal expectations. Intense session talking about behaviors and the reactions that they elicit. Unfortunately too many young people lack the judgment needed for people out on their own for the first time.

  9. Good thing Wilson still isn’t here….He may have verbally abused Ellison into doing something really stupid.

    I love all this talk of due process, but did Kevin Wilson really get any? It was assumed that the few allegations had complete merit and keeping him wasn’t worth the risk (if you buy that argument).

    Keep one thing in mind….A coach who could turn around IU Football would hold far more power and importance than his AD. Allen is very smart and ‘by the book’ in his servitude to Fred….Wilson was never going to be that guy. Wilson was cut from the same mold as Knight. Confident of his ability …and confident enough to keep the meddling of AD’s at bay . The power is always in the winning and in the eye test of his teams buying into his methods. Wilson was threatening to Fred’s power.

Leave a Reply