The Feb. 3 report in Sports Illustrated about the conduct of high-ranking officials in the CU athletic department and administration is depressing. It should worry everyone at CU and everyone in Boulder who is concerned about domestic violence and the well-documented pattern of athletic organizations, professional and collegiate, sweeping such allegations under the rug in order to further their competitive goals.

The behavior of head football coach Mike MacIntyre and athletic director Rick George appears indifferent and callous. That behavior included elevating assistant coach Joe Tumpkin to replace departed defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt for the team's Dec. 29 bowl game just one week after Tumpkin's former girlfriend spent half an hour on the phone with MacIntyre detailing her allegations of long-term domestic abuse at Tumpkin's hands.

"That's when I really knew I was alone," the alleged victim told SI, referring to MacIntyre's announcement of Tumpkin's enhanced responsibilities one week after their phone conversation.

She told the head coach, whom she considered a friend, that Tumpkin choked her, dragged her by the hair and tossed her around his apartment and various hotel rooms for the last two years of their three-year relationship, according to the SI account. Tumpkin resigned his job Jan. 27 and was formally charged Jan. 31 with five felony counts of second-degree assault and three misdemeanor counts of third-degree assault.

The result of the alleged victim's report to MacIntyre on Dec. 9 was a phone call she received four days later from Jon Banashek, who introduced himself as Tumpkin's criminal defense lawyer.

She was "stunned, hurt ... mortified," she told SI, that her reporting to MacIntyre, a man she trusted, had turned into a heads-up to her alleged assailant's lawyer.

During her phone conversation with MacIntyre, the alleged victim told SI, the CU coach said he didn't know what to do and would have to look into what was required legally. That's curious.

Shortly after Stan Garnett was elected Boulder District Attorney in 2008, CU regent Michael Carrigan urged him to set up a task force with top CU athletic officials to make sure nothing like the football recruiting scandal of the early 2000s ever happened again.

"In the task force, which has been up and running since 2009, we often discuss the kinds of organizational issues that cases like this present and the obligations that everyone has in each position," said Garnett, who is not prosecuting the Tumpkin case, which originates in the 17th Judicial District. He confirmed that both George and MacIntyre have participated in these meetings.

Allegations of domestic violence against a university employee also must be reported to Title IX compliance officers, according to SI. Did the alleged victim's phone call to MacIntyre trigger such a report? "The (Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance) does not comment publicly on any matter that may have been referred to them," a CU spokeswoman said in an email.

CU says it allowed Tumpkin to coach in the bowl game because it didn't know about a restraining order issued against Tumpkin on Dec. 20 until learning of it from a Daily Camera reporter on Jan. 6. But the alleged victim says she left a voicemail for MacIntyre, who was no longer taking her calls, a couple of days before flying to Colorado to get that restraining order, informing him of her intention to do so. A little more than an hour after leaving that voicemail, according to the SI report, she received another call from Banashek. She did not want her alleged assailant's lawyer to know of her plans. From the SI report:

"He asked what I was planning on doing. I said I don't know. He said, Well, you have a lot of people on pins and needles here. I asked who. He said, Joe, Mac, Rick George. I said, 'Mac says he 100 percent believes me. But everyone is on pins and needles because they want to know if I am going to the police? Not because there is an abusive man on Mac's staff?'"

A CU spokeswoman said this week that university Chancellor Phil DiStefano, George and MacIntyre approved Tumpkin coaching in the bowl game because they had "no official documents in hand from a court or an investigation by police." Given the heads-up the alleged victim gave MacIntyre about her plans to get a personal protective order, and his decision not only to let Tumpkin coach but to enhance his responsibilities, that explanation sounds like little more than bureaucratic butt-covering.

In the football team's first winning season under MacIntyre, was the outcome of the bowl game and CU's final poll ranking a factor in the decision? Was Tumpkin's role as a top recruiter and the Feb. 1 National Signing Day a factor?

MacIntyre has offered no explanation, although he did find time to sign a $16.25 million contract extension on Jan. 9. He has refused comment on even innocuous Tumpkin-related questions since the bowl game.

We understand there is an ongoing criminal case, but that case now relates to domestic violence charges against a former CU employee. We understand covering your behind legally. But we think the university and the state's highest-paid public employee have a moral obligation to own up to what happened here.

Football coaches are forever lecturing players and fans about character and accountability. We are waiting for CU's coach to show a little of either.

—Dave Krieger, for the editorial board. Email: kriegerd@dailycamera.com. Twitter: @DaveKrieger