Feds investigate Michigan response

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights is investigating the University of Michigan's response to 2009 rape allegations against former Wolverines place-kicker Brendan Gibbons, according to The Detroit News.

The investigation comes after complaints from former university pathologist Doug Smith, who filed a complaint last year to the Office of Civil Rights, and another the office received.

Smith received an email Monday night informing him that the Office of Civil Rights would be looking into the matter because it was "appropriate to proceed to investigation on the following issue: that the university failed to promptly and equitably respond to complaints, reports and/or incidents of sexual violence of which it had notice, and, as a result, students were subjected to a sexually hostile environment."

Much attention has been paid to the case since The Michigan Daily reported Gibbons' expulsion. Gibbons was "permanently separated" from the university on Dec. 20, 2013, though the rape allegations date to an incident on Nov. 22, 2009.

Gibbons was arrested but not charged.

Michigan begins spring practice Tuesday and coach Brady Hoke will address the media afterward.

Approximately 40 students, donned with red patches, protested the handling of Gibbons' expulsion during a rally Tuesday.

The students marched from Rackham Auditorium, through the middle of campus to the Fleming Administration Building, which houses the Office of Student Conflict Resolution, which handles sexual misconduct policy matters.

Though not many students joined the rally as it marched through campus, it certainly drew the attention of students and faculty as they marched. Protestors banged on pots, chanted and passed out fliers.

The student group refused to meet with university administrators before the rally, but the rally remained completely peaceful. Students spoke outside the building with a megaphone then entered the first floor of the building for four minutes.