An investigation into Bradley Aldrich’s time at Miami (Ohio) University concluded the former Blackhawks video coach sexually assaulted two men at Miami in fall 2012.
The final report about the investigation, conducted by the law firm Barnes & Thornburg and released Friday, did not mention Miami receiving any recommendation letter from the Hawks when hiring Aldrich.
Aldrich has been the subject of intense scrutiny after two negligence lawsuits relating to him were filed against the Blackhawks in May and June.
The first lawsuit alleged that Aldrich sexually assaulted a Hawks player in May 2010 and that Hawks management covered up the assault while quietly firing him that summer. The second alleged the Hawks provided recommendation letters for Aldrich to his future employers, including Miami University and later Houghton (Michigan) High School, where he assaulted a 16-year-old member of the boy’s hockey team. The Hawks have filed pending motions to dismiss both lawsuits.
The Miami investigation determined Aldrich assaulted a summer hockey camp intern and a Miami undergraduate student who worked at the ice rink. Both assaults occurred after Aldrich invited the men to sleep over on his couch.
But the investigation also concluded Miami “acted in an appropriate manner” after becoming aware of each incident and “met all of its legal duties.” Miami suspended Aldrich’s employment after the intern reported his assault, prompting Aldrich to resign. The undergraduate student, conversely, did not report the assault until 2018, per the report.
The process of Miami hiring Aldrich is of most relevance to the Hawks, however. An original version of the second lawsuit filed against the Hawks alleged the Hawks “provided positive references to future employers,” whereas an amended version alleged the Hawks merely provided a “positive review and/or employment verification of Aldrich to Houghton” specifically. The Hawks have called those allegations “demonstrably false” in their own filings.
Friday’s new report concluded Aldrich “did not provide any references [to Miami] in his resume,” and the report makes no mention of any letters or recommendations from the Hawks. The report states Miami’s hockey coach at the time, Rico Blasi, did talk to the Notre Dame University coaching staff — where Aldrich worked from 2010 to 2012, after leaving the Hawks — and “received favorable information.”
Miami conducted a background check on Aldrich before hiring him and, although it wasn’t completed until after his hiring, it turned up no red flags because Aldrich “did not have any criminal convictions or arrests” at the time, per the report.
A separate investigation being conducted by the law firm Jenner & Block into Aldrich’s tenure with the Hawks is still ongoing.