In yesterday's Daily Texan, a letter from Bryant's attorney denied all:
“He was not involuntarily placed on leave,” [attorney] Nesbitt wrote. “After Mr. Bryant was instructed not to discuss the investigation with several co-workers with whom he works closely on a daily basis, he requested a leave of absence to avoid even the perception that he was talking with potential witnesses or interfering in the University’s investigation.”Bryant's wife Jean also requested a leave so that she, too, could avoid talking to her co-workers about the unspecified allegations, which are definitely not true.
But according to UT's Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy, a formal investigation is initiated only when:
a complaint is complete, timely, within the scope of this policy and articulates sufficient specific facts, which, if determined to be true, would support a finding that this policy was violated.Nowhere in the policy does it suggest that persons against whom complaints have been made could choose--or have imposed upon them--a leave of absence during an investigation, nor does it suggest that they cannot talk about such allegations with coworkers.
Leaves of Absence, according to UT's policies, can be granted for "personal reasons." The term "administrative leave of absence," used in the Daily Texan article, does not appear anywhere in UT's Human Resources Handbook of Operating Procedures. Leaves of Absence are also clearly designated as "leave without pay." If Bryant and his wife are collecting paychecks during their leave, they--and UT football--are in violation of UT's human resources policy.
Any Longhorn fan with a pulse knows that Gloria Allred, celebrity attorney, has been hired by a former employee at football operations and when the big GA is involved, something truly terrible is afoot. Her past clients include Nicole Brown Simpson's family, a witness against Scott Peterson, the woman who sued Schwarzenegger for sexual harassment when he ran for governor, a girl who was denied entry into the Boy Scouts, and so on.
So either something really bad happened or Allred is eagerly taking the opportunity to go up against one of the strongest college football teams in the nation as a feminist statement. Or both. Either way, I can't wait to find out.