Mel Pearson no longer Michigan Wolverines’ hockey coach

Mel Pearson, Michigan’s hockey coach for the last five seasons, has been relieved of his position, the university’s athletic department announced Friday, just days after a public revelation that a wide range of allegations had been made against him.

A 70-page report from Washington, DC-based WilmerHale law firm detailed the allegations and identified “cultural issues” in the program that “require attention.” In the report, Pearson is accused of retaining employees who had “contemporary knowledge of sexual conduct committed by former university physician Dr. Robert Anderson,” mistreating women associated with the program, violating the university’s COVID-19 safety protocols, and “retaliation against and unfair treatment of student-athletes.”

The report, obtained Tuesday by The Detroit News, was given to Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel on May 5.

“It has been determined that Mel Pearson will not return as our ice coach,” Manuel said in a release from the athletic department Friday afternoon. “This decision has been weighed heavily and for some time. We welcomed an independent third-party review into the climate and culture of our program before furthering our assessment in lockstep with campus leadership.

“Our student-athletes having a positive and meaningful experience is of paramount importance, and a clear expectation within our department is that all employees and staff are valued and supported. I deeply appreciate and value the many individuals who came forward throughout this review. Today’s announcement reflects the seriousness with what we’ve heard and the values ​​we hold dear at Michigan.”

A message left with the athletic department by The Detroit News seeking further comment was not immediately returned Friday afternoon. Pearson told The News after the news was released Friday that he “can’t comment right now.”

Pearson’s departure comes months after his original five-year contract expired at the end of April, just more than three weeks after he had taken his team to the NCAA Frozen Four.

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