UW issues statement on charges against former student-athlete

Wyoming defensive end Carl Granderson (91) looks on during the second half of an NCAA college football game against New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

The University of Wyoming has issued a statement regarding the filing of charges of third-degree sexual assault and sexual battery in Albany County Circuit Court, this week, against former UW student-athlete Carl Granderson.

The statement is printed below in its entirety, as received.

The allegations stem from an incident following the conclusion of the 2018 football season and the end of Granderson’s athletic eligibility. Because of that, the Department of Athletics cannot suspend him, which is the usual course of action for student-athletes when felony sexual assault charges are filed against them, under university policy.

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Nonetheless, UW Athletics Director Tom Burman and Head Football Coach Craig Bohl have these comments on the matter:

“The sexual assault charges recently filed against Carl Granderson are serious, and the allegations are troubling,” Bohl says. “I want to assure the people of Wyoming that we hold our young men to the highest of standards, and this alleged behavior is unacceptable.

“We have coached hundreds of student-athletes in our football program during my five years at Wyoming. During that time, we have a record of taking decisive action in suspending student-athletes from our program in the few instances when they have faced charges involving violence or sexual assault, and we will continue to do so.”

“We strive to have our student-athletes represent our athletics department and the state of Wyoming in a manner that we can all be proud of,” Burman says. “But when charges such as those that were filed against former football player Carl Granderson are made, we deal with them directly and in accordance with University of Wyoming policies. These alleged actions will not be tolerated.

“We appreciate the manner in which Coach Bohl has worked with our athletics administration in dealing with this incident. We have been and will continue to be committed to educating our student-athletes and our staff on ways they can help prevent sexual assault, and we are committed to providing a safe environment for our student-athletes.”

The Laramie Police Department handled the investigation, because the alleged incident took place off campus. The UW Police Department has cooperated with local law enforcement in the case.

Granderson is no longer a student at the university, having graduated Dec. 15.

Because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the university is unable to comment on the status of student conduct proceedings. But, in general, the university investigates all allegations of sexual misconduct that occur on university premises, if the incidents have an adverse impact on the university community, its members or the pursuit of its objectives. Whenever student conduct constitutes a violation of federal, state or municipal law, or university regulations or policies, student code of conduct proceedings may be instituted against a student. The university also takes interim measures, as needed, for the health and safety of complainants, respondents and the university community. The university strongly encourages alleged victims to report to and cooperate with law enforcement agencies, while providing education, support and resources to all those affected by sexual misconduct.

University officials work closely with law enforcement agencies in Albany County, the Albany County Attorney’s Office, Albany County SAFE Project, the Albany County Victim/Witness Coordinator’s Office and others in the community to both prevent sexual violence and help victims. Services available include anonymous reporting, anonymous evidence collection, counseling and advocacy on and off campus, and victim/witness support in criminal proceedings. It is up to victims to decide if they want to pursue criminal charges or receive assistance.

In recognition of the importance of sexual assault prevention and enforcement, President Laurie Nichols launched UW’s Sexual Misconduct Task Force in February 2017, along with UW’s NO MORE campaign. The group is working to improve campus safety by addressing barriers to reporting; building comprehensive education and training; improving knowledge of, and access to, campus and community resources; engaging men in prevention; and addressing the link between alcohol and sexual violence. UW has been taking steps to encourage reporting and reduce the incidence of sexual misconduct. Those include implementation of the Rave Guardian app by the Associated Students of UW; development of a “safe corridor” campaign to improve lighting and install cameras on campus; improved lighting in the area of War Memorial Stadium; a safety panel at the start of the semester for incoming students; and the AWARE bystander intervention program.

For several years, UW has been working to encourage reporting of sexual assault through the UWPD and the STOP Violence Program, which works with the UWPD, the Department of Athletics, Residence Life and Dining Services, the Counseling Center and other campus units to spread the word about resources available to sexual assault victims. More information about sexual assault reporting is available at www.uwyo.edu/reportit, including links to policies and procedures, available resources and the online reporting form.

UW’s Department of Athletics, meanwhile, has taken additional steps to address sexual assault. Those include:

  • Adoption of sexual violence prevention policies and procedures specific for UW Athletics, which describe reporting duties; identify reporting and victim resources; and explain the process by which UW Athletics works with law enforcement and the rest of campus to ensure appropriate steps are taken to investigate allegations of sexual assault.
  • Annual, required sexual violence, hazing and bullying prevention trainings for all student-athletes, coaches and staff via an online module. This training aligns with the best practices and recommendations from the NCAA’s Sexual Violence Prevention Toolkit, issued in 2017.
  • Monthly administrative meetings for coaches and sport-specific staff.
  • Semiannual required Compliance Office-led presentations to student-athletes regarding Equal Opportunity Report and Response Unit, STOP Violence Program and Dean of Students Office staff contact information.
  • Annual sexual violence education, including reporting contacts and mental health resources. This course is taught by Department of Athletics staff and is required for all scholarship freshmen student-athletes — and is available for walk-on student-athletes as well.
  • Annual bystander intervention trainings for student-athletes. These trainings are optional, but strongly encouraged.
  • Formation of a Sexual Violence Prevention Team, which consists of representation from campus and athletics staff. The group meets once per semester to review and establish athletics policies and procedures related to sexual assault.
  • Appearance of nationally renowned guest speakers such as Brenda Tracy, Keith LaBelle and Kim Dickman to provide student-athletes with additional information related to sexual assault.