The decision comes after a recent investigation into Michigan's hockey program found evidence of misconduct by Pearson during his time as head coach. He was accused of "retaliating against players who raised concerns about the team, allowing women within the program to be harassed, and encouraging players to lie about COVID contact tracing" according to the investigation (via Click on Detroit).
“It has been determined that Mel Pearson will not return as our ice hockey coach,” Michigan Athletic Director Warde Manuel said. “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,” Manuel added. “I deeply appreciate and value the many individuals who came forward throughout this review.”
Pearson's five-year contract expired after last season, but his future as head coach for the team remained unknown for months. Many wondered why the decision to terminate his employment wasn't made sooner, as the season ended in April.