Montana Investigated By U.S. Justice Department Over Sexual Assault Cases

The Montana Grizzlies fired football head coach Robin Pflugrad and athletic director Jim O'Day at the end of March. Jim Delaney has taken over for the 2012 season.

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Montana Reaches Settlements With Fired Coach Robin Pflugrad, AD Jim O'Day

While the University of Montana remains mum on why Grizzlies football head coach Robin Pflugrad and athletic director Jim O'Day were fired in late March, the school has reached a settlement with its former employees in compensation over lost income, reports the Missoulian.

Pflugrad will receive his base salary of $157,000 plus health benefits through Dec. 31, 2012. He will also recoup lost monies from other ventures by receiving an additional $44,500. O'Day comes away with $155,281 for his contract that ends on June 30, 2012. These deals are not unexpected since the topic has been around since early April.

Montana has chosen not to discuss the reason(s) for not renewing the contracts of Pflugrad and O'Day, but it is widely suspected to deal with the current sexual assault scandal that has involved past and present players on the football team. The NCAA is currently investigating the Montana football program.

For more on this situation, stay with SB Nation Denver's StoryStream. For more college football coverage, head over to SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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Montana Football 2012: Mick Delaney Named Head Coach For 2012 Season

With the Montana Grizzlies football team still in flux following the dismissal of head coach Robin Pflugrad and athletic director Jim O'Day a week ago, the university has opted to name interim head coach Mick Delaney as the head coach for the entirety of the 2012 season, reports the Missoulian:


Related: Montana Fires Coach Robin Pflugrad, AD Jim O'Day

"I’ll be the coach through the season," Delaney said. "I would not have taken the position if there was going to be a change in the summer."

Delaney had coached the Grizzlies for the last four years as the running backs coach before retiring earlier in the year.

The reason for Pflugrad and O'Day's removal has not been publicly stated yet (or ever will be), but it's been spoken about in generalities such as "It was time for a change in direction."

Montana is currently taking part in spring practice.

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Montana Football 2012: Mick Delaney Named Interim Coach

The Montana Grizzlies named Mick Delaney its interim football coach on Friday, just one day after Robin Pflugrad had been dismissed along with athletic director Jim O'Day, reports the Missoulian.

"He called and asked if I’d be interested in trying to help," Delaney said from Butte. "And I just felt at this time it was the right thing to do. As difficult as things were yesterday, he asked if I’d be interested in trying to keep things together."

Delaney had retired from coaching after last season with the Grizzlies, his fourth year with the team. He coached running backs for the Grizzlies before his Feb. 9 departure, but he'll take the Grizzlies through at least the team's remaining spring practices. Delaney previously worked for Sonny Lubick at Colorado State for 15 years.

Jean Gee, a senior associate athletic director, was named interim athletic director on Friday, as well.

The exact reasons for firing Pflugrad and O'Day remain unknown, and there are no indications that any will be forthcoming any time soon.

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Montana Football Team Releases Letter, Promises To Strive For Higher Standard

The Montana Grizzlies football team has released a letter the day after head coach Robin Pflugrad and athletic director Jim O'Day were fired for unspecified reasons. In that letter, the members of the football team promised to hold themselves (and others) to higher standards, but clearly they are also left wanting answers, just like everyone else. Here is the key portion of the letter (emphasis added):

The events over the past months regarding allegations and actions of players and most recently the firing of our head coach and the athletic director have all had a deep and profound impact on us. We understand and accept the fact that a few of our teammates' actions, whether intended and deserved or not, have contributed to this unfortunate situation. Whether or not true, regardless of obvious motivations and despite the facts, or lack of them, we have learned that the rules in today's public arena are about perception and expediency. As student athletes of this university we are left without an answer as to why our two leaders, Coach Pflugrad and Jim O'Day, are gone. These events have left us disappointed, saddened, and stunned, but they have also provided us something else.

With the school declining to publicly discuss the firings, we are all left wondering why this occurred. We can piece all these things together and conjecture, but ultimately are we being done right by the university when there is no open and frank discussion as to what exactly led to this?

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Montana Football Coaching Search: Former Colorado Coach Dan Hawkins Suggested By Reporters

The University of Montana is set to name an interim head football coach soon in the wake of firing Robin Pflugrad on Thursday, but the search for a permanent coach will certainly draw plenty of interest. While there are no names yet connected with the job, the New York Times' Pete Thamel and CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd are throwing out an interesting name that is familiar to Colorado Buffaloes fans:

Hawkins certainly knows the Rocky Mountains region with his (abysmal) time with Colorado and his (successful) stint with the Boise St. Broncos. If he does emerge as a candidate for the job and if he does get it, Hawkins could certainly rebuild his credibility as a coach with a few years at the FCS level and then use that as a springboard back to an FBS school.

This is certainly something to keep an eye on.

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Montana Will Not Hold Press Conference On Firings Of Robin Pflugrad, Jim O'Day

The University of Montana has declined to hold a press conference to discuss the firings of football head coach Robin Pflugrad and athletic director Jim O'Day, according to university vice president Jim Foley:


Related: Montana Fires Coach Robin Pflugrad, AD Jim O'Day

Montana released a short statement on Thursday afternoon to announce that Pflugrad and O'Day were dismissed, but it avoided answering the main question: why were they fired? The multiple sexual assault allegations would appear to be the main cause for this turn of events, but the university has chosen not to discuss this matter yet.

Neither Pflugrad nor O'Day is speaking on this matter yet, either. They have made brief remarks, but they are unlikely to speak on this matter until they deal with the immediate fallout of this situation, namely how this affects their families.

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Robin Pflugrad, Jim O'Day Fired: Montana's Statement Answers Nothing

University of Montana President Royce Engstrom released a statement on Thursday afternoon to officially acknowledge that football head coach Robin Pflugrad and athletic director Jim O'Day are no longer with the program:

The University of Montana has determined not to renew the contracts of Athletics Director Jim O’Day and head football coach Robin Pflugrad. The University will announce an interim athletics director and interim head coach by the end of the week. Further details about the search for permanent replacements will be released as the process develops. We thank Jim and Robin for their dedicated service to the University, and we wish them the best.

There is gathering evidence that the university let go of the two men over the conduct of several reports of sexual assault that allegedly involved members of the football team.

Pflugrad had just completed his third year with the Grizzlies, his second as head coach. The Grizzlies reached the semifinals of the 2012 NCAA FCS Tournament. O'Day had been the athletic director since June 2005.

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Robin Pflugrad, Jim O'Day Fired By Montana

The University of Montana has fired Grizzlies football head coach Robin Pflugrad and athletic director Jim O'Day. Assistant athletic director Greg Sundberg informed his staff early on Thursday morning (via the Missoulian):

"It is with great sadness that I inform you all that this morning our Athletic Director, Jim O'Day and Head Football Coach Robin Pflugrad were released of their duties as of 8:00 a.m. this morning. It will be a very difficult time for all of us in the coming days and I would ask that you stay positive.

"As more information comes out, I will be sure to let you know. At this point and time this is all that I know."

There are still no indications as to why the university dismissed Pflugrad and O'Day, but a statement is still expected to come later on Thursday.

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