Courey told "Outside the Lines" she and her husband did not follow up because they didn't feel it was their job to investigate and that Missouri had the access to relevant records. They also said the three-month delay between Missouri officials discovering the chat and when officials told them about it showed a lack of sincerity on the part of the school.
Missouri officials were made aware of an entry from Menu Courey's journal by "Outside the Lines" in September when Rhodenbaugh and senior administrator Sarah Reesman were interviewed. The entry, from May 12, 2011, describes Menu Courey telling her athletic department academic advisor, Meghan Anderson, about the alleged rape for the first time. She called Anderson from the Boston psychiatric hospital. Phone records from the hospital confirm that Menu Courey placed the call to Anderson at the day and time she wrote in her journal:
"My voice was firm and direct when I told her I'd been raped and then I moved on to telling her how I'm doing well now, talking to therapists and figure out the next steps," she wrote. "I was pleased that she didn't mention the rape again and simply told me she was happy I was at McLean [Hospital] getting better."
If accurate, the journal entry appears to represent the first time that an athletic department staffer would have been told directly by Courey about an alleged rape. The first time that athletic officials other than Anderson appear to know of the claim was when the February 2012 local newspaper article was published. A records search showed that the executive assistant to athletic director Mike Alden sent an email to Alden and five other senior athletic department officials alerting them to the existence of the article, which was cut-and-pasted into the note.
Still, the athletic department did not take the information to police or open their own investigation.
At the time, the University of Missouri was facing an uptick of reported campus sexual assaults. The number of reported allegations of forcible sexual crimes rose from two during Courey's freshman year of 2009, to five in 2010 when she was allegedly raped, to 11 in 2011, according to Department of Education data compiled by the school. The athletic department was also under scrutiny at the time, as star running back Derrick Washington was charged with felony sexual assault of an athletic department tutor in 2010 and convicted in 2011.
The 2010 Missouri football team was one of the university's best, going undefeated at home and tying for a share of the Big 12 Conference title. In November 2011, after a courtship with the Big Ten Conference, the Tigers were invited to join the Southeastern Conference, starting in 2012.
The allegations involving Missouri and Menu Courey come on the heels of the White House calling on universities to more aggressively prevent sex crimes, given statistics showing that one in five women is a survivor of attempted or completed sexual violence while in college. On Wednesday, President Obama encouraged schools to "investigate reports of rape and sexual assault and take swift action to prevent their recurrence" and announced the formation of an inter-agency task force that will help institutions "meet their obligations under federal law."