The Kansas City Star has obtained documents from the University of Kansas’ investigation into former long snapper Jordan Goldenberg, and they paint a much more serious portrait of the situation than the nebulous grouping of facts we previously had. For months, it was an odd situation where the two alleged victims, Daisy Tackett and Sarah McClure, were publicly identified, while Goldenberg was not. This was due to the fact that no charges were brought against Goldenberg, and Tackett and McClure had gone the route of suing the University for mishandling the situation, leaving their names open to public record.
Recently, Goldenberg was publicly identified. Multiple media outlets, including Rock Chalk Talk, were aware of his identity this spring, but did not publish his name as he was not charged with a crime, nor was the lawsuit directed toward him. However, it has become increasingly clear that there is evidence against Goldenberg, and the cloak of anonymity has been removed.
The letters obtained by the Star confirm that KU’s office of Institutional Opportunity and Access investigated the accusations made by both Tackett and McClure, and found that he had, in their opinion, engaged in “non-consensual sex” with Daisy Tackett, and that the evidence supported a violation of the school’s sexual harassment policy with McClure. A letter to McClure indicates that, under different circumstances, the finding against Goldenberg in her case would have resulted in counseling, a ban from Jayhawk Towers, and other measures. However, since it was the second finding of this nature against Goldenberg, he was being expelled. The University’s letter to Tackett notifies her that he has been expelled from the University. The letters were both dated March 18, and it appears the investigations overlapped.
While the letters indicate that Goldenberg was willing to accept expulsion from the University, his attorneys now state that he “strongly denies” both the accusations of sexual assault, and disputes that he was ever expelled.
Earlier today, I published a post referencing an article from the Tribune Star in Terre Haute stating that former special teams coordinator Gary Hyman has been suspended for two days by the Indiana State athletic program, which now employs him in the same role. Hyman apparently failed to notify Indiana State of Goldenberg’s situation before bringing him on to the football team. This looks like a much more serious offense in light of what the University of Kansas had determined regarding Goldenberg’s actions.
Tackett never reported her assault to police, while the Douglas County Attorney’s office determined there was insufficient evidence to pursue charges against Goldenberg pertaining to McClure’s accusations.
While neither victim will ever have her story heard in court, and while news stories, for this reason, will continue to refer to the charges as “allegations” and “accusations,” I want the record to be clear on this. The University of Kansas, which would have had institutional motivation to deny wrongdoing, could have swept this under the rug and also found a lack of evidence. Unlike the Baylor situation, where the University was complicit in keeping such situations quiet, and preventing true investigations from occurring, KU investigated the victims’ concerns. This is not a wholesale defense of the University of Kansas. It seems they were eager to get the situation resolved, which fails to adequately represent the needs of the victims. It has also been published that the victims were forced by team rules to attend football games and, in essence, support their attacker. I’m sure we will find out more in the coming days and months about what the University did and did not do in this situation.
With that being said, I again want the record to be clear. Goldenberg’s innocence should not be accepted without reservation. From a criminal standpoint, we still must refer to him in this way. But from a human standpoint, we must review the facts for ourselves and determine whether “innocent” is an accurate term. The University, which once again would have had reason to keep this from being investigated, did in fact complete and investigation and found that Jordan Goldenberg raped Daisy Tackett. This should should not be ignored going forward. By us, or by Indiana State as they consider the weight of what Gary Hyman did in keeping Goldenberg’s history quiet from ISU. It appears this story will continue to develop, but it’s important that we remember what the University of Kansas, alma mater for many of us at this site, determined that Jordan Goldenberg has done, and that they deemed it serious enough to expel him from the University.