UM and Missoula Still Making Crisis Management Mistakes

Erik Bernstein crisis management, Crisis Prevention, crisis public relations, Crisis Response, Erik Bernstein, higher ed, Jonathan Bernstein, PR, reputation management 1 Comment

Errors become far less forgivable when you make them time and time again…

The University of Montana, and especially its football program, have been making negative news for a couple years now. In fact, there had been so many alleged sexual assaults and other misconduct by student athletes, and so much shady business from school leadership and local authorities, that the federal government launched its own investigation into the university’s Office of Public Safety, the Missoula Police Department, and the Missoula County Attorney’s Office in 2012.

You would think both the city of Missoula and the University would be taking pains to make certain there is no appearance of impropriety, but a find by one of our intrepid readers says otherwise.

Last week another Montana Grizzly player appeared in a Missoula court, this time for drunkenly vandalizing signs around town. Below, we have a screenshot from a local news broadcast which shows the judge in the case. Take a close look at his chair:


The judge is literally sitting in a University of Montana-themed chair, replete with school colors and the Grizzly logo! Conflict of interest, anyone?

When you’re knee-deep in crisis management as a result of accusations of preferential treatment, the last thing you want to do is provide evidence that there may indeed be a bit of that treatment going around, especially in a court of law.

What do you think? Do UM, and Missoula County as a whole, really not understand the seriousness of their situation, or is this yet another symptom of the unethical, egotistical behavior that landed them where they are in the first place?

The BCM Blogging Team

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