Broncos hired new coach aware of ‘sleaze ball’ -rubbing past
By Jonathan Lehman January 18, 2017 | 11:25am | Updated
The Denver Broncos say they hired Vance Joseph as their new head coach fully aware that Joseph once was suspended from his job as an assistant coach at the University of Colorado amid multiple sexual harassment investigations and that multiple women alleged Joseph assaulted them by climbing naked into their beds, fondling their breasts and touching them with his .
“We were aware of the report, and like all candidates, we thoroughly reviewed Vance’s background as part of this process,” the Broncos said last week in a statement, according to KDVR.
“This issue was resolved administratively nearly 15 years ago, and he’s moved forward from it.”
Broncos VP of public relations Patrick Smyth offered an additional explanation: “While we were aware of these accusations, he was not charged with anything from the report filed in 2004.”
The Boulder Police Department report from 2004, published by Deadspin, makes clear the case was closed because the victims did not want to press charges stemming from an incident in 2003.
One of the two women — believed to be trainers in Colorado’s athletic department — told police they were out with Joseph at a bar, then went back to a home, where they continued to drink and Joseph smoked marijuana.
The woman went to bed. She told police she awoke to find Joseph had removed his clothes and climbed into the bed.
“She felt his against the backside of her body … VJ continued grabbing her breasts and rubbing up and down her leg for a short period of time,” the police report says.
The woman said she feigned sleep and Joseph soon departed. But the woman also related to police how her friend, the second woman, told her Joseph had done “the same things” to her, and the friend had yelled at Joseph to “get the hell out.” Joseph was not accused of penetrating either woman.
The police report contains this summary from the alleged victim:
“Even though VJ had been drinking and had some marijuana, he knew exactly what he was doing … ‘He’s just a sleaze ball.'”
The Daily Camera of Boulder reported former university president Elizabeth Hoffman said in a deposition, released in 2005, that Joseph had been suspended from his post as Colorado’s defensive backs coach after the school learned of this incident and another, in which he had consensual sex with a trainer in the steam room.
Colorado did not provide a reason for Joseph’s suspension at the time, and he soon left for a position at Bowling Green.
“We have no reason to believe that it was not consensual, but since he is a coach, we consider that it was probable or possible sexual harassment, so we followed our sexual harassment protocols,” Hoffman said in the deposition, which was part a Title IX lawsuit filed by two women who alleged they were sexually assaulted by Colorado athletes and recruits at a party in 2001.
Joseph played for Colorado from 1990 to 1995 and returned to the school as an assistant coach in 1999 after a brief stint as an NFL player. Following his exit and a year coaching at Bowling Green, Joseph progressed to the NFL ranks, where he worked as an assistant coach for the 49ers, Texans and Bengals before landing a gig as the Dolphins defensive coordinator in 2016.
Now he’s in the top job with the Broncos, who are no strangers to having a marquee figure shadowed by sexual assault allegations from his time at college. The Broncos won the Super Bowl last season behind Peyton Manning, who was accused by a female athletic trainer at Tennessee of putting his genitals on her face as she examined him when he was the school’s star quarterback in 1996.