Woman who accused former CU football assistant of domestic violence is suing Tumpkin, MacIntyre and other CU officials

CU’s former defensive backs coach was allowed to continue coaching — and even received a promotion — weeks after Pamela Fine said she reported being abused.

A lawsuit claims Colorado football coach Mike MacIntyre, above, did nothing when a woman communicated to him that one of his former assistants, Joe Tumpkin, was physically abusing her. (Soobum Im/USA Today Sports)
A lawsuit claims Colorado football coach Mike MacIntyre, above, did nothing when a woman communicated to him that one of his former assistants, Joe Tumpkin, was physically abusing her. (Soobum Im/USA Today Sports)
Pamela Fine is suing CU football coach Mike MacIntyre and other CU employees for failing to properly report domestic violence allegations. (Soobum Im/USA Today Sports)

The woman who accused former University of Colorado assistant football coach Joe Tumpkin of domestic violence is suing Tumpkin, CU President Bruce Benson, athletic director Rick George and head football coach Mike MacIntyre.

In a February Sports Illustrated story, Pamela Fine said that Tumpkin repeatedly abused her over a two-year period when they were romantically involved. She is seeking damages for the alleged “physical, psychological and verbal abuse” Tumpkin inflicted on her. She also accuses Benson, George and MacIntyre of negligence and civil conspiracy related to the university’s response or lack thereof when administrators learned of the accusations. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver. The University of Colorado is not a named party in the lawsuit due to the state’s immunity laws.

Tumpkin, CU’s former defensive backs coach, was allowed to continue coaching — and even received a promotion when he was allowed to call defensive plays in the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl — weeks after Fine said she first told MacIntyre about the allegations.

CU eventually asked Tumpkin to resign but only after the accusations were made public.

“Individually and collectively, defendants placed their concern for the University’s football program, post-season bowl prospects, post-season coaching awards, and reputational interests of the University Athletic Program before and above their legal and ethical obligations owed to plaintiff,” the lawsuit read

A third-party investigation into CU’s handling of the allegations concluded in June that the school failed to properly report the allegations. DiStefano was suspended for 10 days. George and MacIntyre were each ordered to pay $100,000 to a fund “addressing domestic violence issues.”

“MacIntyre and George also should have known that they were contractually required to report Tumpkin’s alleged conduct to law enforcement,” the report from June read.

Tumpkin was arrested in February on five counts of second-degree assault. An outcome in the criminal case is pending.

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Christian Clark

Author: Christian Clark

Christian Clark covers sports. He's worked for outlets that include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Oklahoman, Columbia Missourian and Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine. He likes music and Mexican food. Lots and lots of Mexican food. Got questions? Tips? You can reach him at cclark@denverite.com.