Idaho places AD on leave while investigating school's handling of 2013 allegations

Dr. Saturday
Idaho athletic director Rob Spear. (Getty)
Idaho athletic director Rob Spear. (Getty)

Idaho has placed athletic director Rob Spear on administrative leave following his apology for the school’s mishandling allegations of sexual assault and harassment against a former football player in 2013.

The school made the announcement Tuesday, saying Spear would be on leave for 60 days “while investigators and university leadership work to better understand process failures in reporting” the complaints.  

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“This is a challenging day,” school president Chuck Staben said in a statement. “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.”

A former female athlete at Idaho accused former wide receiver Jahrie Level of groping her at a bar while another former athlete accused Level of harassment. The woman who accused Level of touching her — the incident was captured on surveillance footage — came forward with her story earlier in 2018. She said she reported the incident to officials in the athletic department but the accusation wasn’t treated appropriately until she reported it to someone at the campus women’s center.

In a March article in the Idaho Statesman, Spear had this to say about to the athletic department’s mishandling of the allegation. Level was dismissed from the team after the surveillance footage of the alleged incident was released.

“The outcome wouldn’t have changed, whether we contacted the dean of students or not,” Spear said. “We should have contacted the dean of students. We didn’t. We just plain should have, and we didn’t.”

Associate athletic director Pete Isakson will serve as the school’s interim athletic director while Spear is on leave.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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