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Comments about ‘Brad Rock: Chris Hill's mistake? Leaving it up to his associate’

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Published: Tuesday, July 2 2013 6:05 p.m. MDT

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redfeather
Palo Alto, CA

In most professions, simply showing up to work drunk ONE TIME is grounds for immediate dismissal, yet Chris Hill's athletic department allowed a frequently drunk coach to abuse his athletes for years and to physically assault his assistant coach without so much as a verbal warning?

Seriously, fisticuffs between two coaches outside a bar during a school sanctioned swim trip didn't even draw a reprimand from the AD?

ekute
Layton, UT

Well put Mr. Rock...Thank You.

Go Utes.

Wayne Rout
El Paso, TX

Mr hill clearly has been placed in a job beyond his ability. He needs to go.

Utah Alum
Orem, UT

University of Utah Policy 5-113: Drug-Free Workplace

IV Policy:

A. It is University policy to maintain a drug-free workplace. It shall be a violation of this policy for employees to engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, and/or use of a controlled substance or alcohol at University workplace, or while engaged in university business off campus.

B. Any person accepting employment with the University agrees to abide by the terms of this policy and procedure.

So, who was responsible for ensuring that University policies were followed by employees of Utah's Athletic department?

Obviously, a complete lack of institutional control and a huge black eye to the school who's first responsibility should be the safekeeping of the student athletes entrusted to their care.

Ufan
Salt Lake City, UT

It seems that showing up to swim practice drunk (as repeatedly reported to Chris Hill by athletes and parents) or getting into a drunken brawl with an assistant coach while on a swim trip (as reported to Chris Hill by an Asst. AD) a clear violation of Utah's Drug-Free Workplace policy?

Yet, absolutely NOTHING was ever done by Chris Hill to address the problem?

3grandslams
Iowa City, IA

I didn't know "associate" was another word for "escape goat". I appreciate the support from U fans, but the colored glasses are too much. Alcohol abuse, physical abuse, and it is clear they AD tried to keep it quiet by giving the assignment to someone else. Stop with the "someone elses fault" syndrome, the AD is an AD for a reason.

Fashion Police
Olympus Cove, Utah

It's hard to imagine how fortunate Chris Hill is to have a job where he gets all of the credit for everything that goes right, but bears absolutely no responsibility for anything that goes wrong in his department.

USAlover
Salt Lake City, UT

Joe Paterno lost everything because he "left doing the right thing up to someone else".

Hill should lose his job.

EdGrady
Idaho Falls, ID

That bump-bump sound you just heard was the associate athletic director thrown under the bus.

J-TX
Allen, TX

@ 3grandslams - the term is "scapegoat" not "escape goat".

oldcougar
Orem, UT

I agree with Rock. Hill screwed up, but we all do on occasion. He's paid a price in lost reputation and prestige/mystique. He's done too many good things at the U to be fired over one screw up.

One thing bothers me...if he was too busy/preoccupied to "see" this problem...what else is he missing? I hope nothing.

Down under
Salt Lake City, UT

Hill must go but the University will probably do nothing because athletics is not about athletes anymore. It's about money grabbing and building facilities.
Utah and BYU were both established by the same person many years ago using the same principles and with the same goals. Utah has strayed from the founding principles and needs to return.

EJM
Herriman, UT

Chris Hill is an honorable man in a high profile job. We all have jobs where responsibility gets delegated to others. Yes, the buck always comes back on those at the top of the food chain but why do posters usually call for a person's head on a silver platter? Have you never had a misstep in your professional life? Jeez. A lot of haters out there.

CO Ute
PARKER, CO

I think there are some valid arguments on both sides of this issue. Hill delegated a task to an Associate AD that wasn't properly handled. That person was released (not thrown under the bus as other posters suggest). Hill is also a long term employee and you can argue that he shouldn't have been fired for this one issue but a reprimand was appropriate.

That said, I work for a major financial company with a worldwide presence. If I knew of an employee that had violated the alcohol policy, I would be expected to ensure the person was disciplined and attempt to help them get treatment. If I didn't follow up with the manager directly over that employee, I probably would lose my job. Dr. Hill should have covered this topic during reviews with the Assistant AD regardless of having numerous athletic program to oversee. It isn't my decision but I am surprised the U did not fire Dr. Hill for his error.

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

Dr. Hill failed in doing what he was supposed to do.

Joining the PAC 12 was too much of a distraction to adequately perform his duties as AD. Not following up on an email from an Associate speaks volumes about his priorities.

Where does the buck stop?

sammyg
Springville, UT

The never ending drama of 'Uteville'.

These past three years have been something to behold. Discounting the mighty social climb to 'big boy' school status of PAC10 inclusion, the subsequent lack of athletic performance, blah, blah, blah... it is clear that the administration and oversight at Utah has derailed.

How much more is unknown? You know there's got to be more.

Time to clean house, it's getting ridiculous to read the news and find more negative stories from the hill, supposedly one of our leading institutions in the state. This is embarrassing and wreaks of incompetence.

Spare me the excuses of Mr. Hill being busy. We're all busy, we all have jobs and when we don't do them we're subject to dismissal. Code of conduct violations are serious matters.

Though much of the UteNation would beg you stay and heap praises on you for the PAC invite, etc. the honorable thing would be to just move on.

Time to go Mr. Hill. Thanks for your Ute contributions.

Duckhunter
Highland, UT

@co ute

"It isn't my decision but I am surprised the U did not fire Dr. Hill for his error."

I'm not sure if I'm surprised about it or not. On the one hand I am because it seems like it is serious enough to warrant it, but at the same time I'm not because chris hill has done some good things at the university of utah and you would think he deserves the benefit of the doubt at least once although to be honest he looked the other way with majerus for a very long time so his "once" may have already been used.

Either way though it would appear that he got off with nothing in the way of punishment and the "investigation" was a definite joke. It seems that something more should have been done but it appears nothing more will be done.

wYo8
Rock Springs, WY

Great to see someone from the local media speak out about this subject. Just a wee bit too late.

phantomblade
Salt Lake City, Utah

Chris Hill wasn't even interested enough to inquire from his asst. AD about the nature of the "altercation", let alone get involved in any disciplinary action.

After the numerous complaints he'd received from parents and athletes about the on-going problems of drunkeness abuse occurring at swim practices, one would have thought that Chris would have been concerned enough to at least ask about the "altercation".

let's roll
LEHI, UT

The fate of Dr. Hill is a decision for the U to make, not me.

But I hope in deciding that fate, the don't completely miss the point as Brad Rock did.

The only mistake Hill made was putting this in the hands of an Associate AD? Really?

After assigning that Associate AD to monitor the issue, the school suspended and then released that Associate AD, in part for failing to follow-up on his responsibilities. That was done long before anyone looked into the swimming team issues (and that only because of allegations out of Arizona).

Where was Hill's follow-up once the Associate AD was let go? Who owned the issue at that point? Hill made multiple errors of judgment not just one as Brad Rock asserts. Hill had multiple opportunities to manage this issue and he missed on them all.

Without the allegations out of Arizona that prodded the AD to finally focus on the swim coach, that coach would likely still be employed at the U.

One can only hope that in deciding on Dr. Hill's fate, the administration at the U took a closer look at the issue than Brad Rock did.

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