Montana Fires Athletic Director and Coach in Wake of Sexual Assault Allegations
The University of Montana has fired athletic director Jim O'Day and head football coach Robin Pflugrad, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Assistant athletic director Greg Sundberg says no reason was given for the firings, aside from saying the university felt it was time for a leadership change.
However, the firings of O'Day and Pflugrad come on the heels of recent sexual assault accusations against Montana football players. Most recently, a student accused starting quarterback Jordan Johnson of sexual assault earlier this month, though no charges have been filed.
Johnson was permitted to return to practice after he was initially held out once his accuser filed a restraining order against him. On Wednesday, it was reported by The Missoulian that the lawyer representing Johnson's accuser classified the issue as a "legal misunderstanding."
Beau Donaldson, a running back for the Grizzlies, was suspended from the team after he was charged in January for raping an acquaintance. As reported by The Missoulian, Donaldson pleaded not guilty to the charges in February. He did, however, admit in a monitored telephone call in December that he assaulted a woman who was sleeping in his house in September of 2010.
If convicted, Donaldson faces a maximum sentence of 100 years or life in prison.
At the time Donaldson was charged, the university was conducting an investigation into complaints by Montana students of sexual assault on the part of other students, athletes included. The complaints included allegations of gang rape.
When O'Day and Pflugrad were fired on Thursday, Sundberg said the allegations were not brought up at all.
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