Players out for Colorado State opener
BOULDER, Colo. -- Colorado suspended four members of the football team Saturday for violations that included one player taking a recruit to a strip club.
The violations were revealed during a mandatory team meeting regarding a police investigation in neighboring Broomfield of allegations that the football program hired an escort service for recruits in 2002 and 2003.
The accusations are the latest against the football program, under fire for allegedly using sex and alcohol at parties to entice recruits. The university denies the allegations, but regents have appointed an independent commission to investigate.
Football coach Gary Barnett said in a statement that players denied the claims about the escort service, but did admit to other infractions. Barnett announced that linebacker Chris Hollis, offensive lineman Brian Daniels, offensive lineman Jack Tipton and cornerback Sammy Joseph will not play in next season's opener against Colorado State.
Barnett learned Friday that Hollis took a recruit to an 18-and-over strip club in Boulder. There was no underage drinking and the recruit returned to his hotel room by 12:30 a.m. in time for curfew, Barnett said.
The other three players were suspended for conduct that violated team rules, including one alcohol violation, Barnett said. The violations were related to recruiting activities, but no other details were disclosed.
Athletic department spokesman Dave Plati declined to comment on the suspensions.
The alcohol violation will be referred to the Office of Judicial Affairs, Barnett said.
"We are pleased that the three players came forth with this new information and that the coach took swift action," school president Elizabeth Hoffman and Chancellor Richard Byyny said in a statement. "We continue to evaluate other information we have received and will take swift, decisive and appropriate action upon the receipt of credible information."
Depositions surfaced last week about an off-campus party attended by football players and recruits in Boulder in December 2001. Three women who say they were raped at or just after the party sued the school, saying it fostered a hostile environment for women in violation of federal gender equity laws.
Boulder District Attorney Mary Keenan declined to file rape charges but said in a deposition she believed sex was used to lure recruits and athletic officials had ignored her demands to crack down.
Keenan has appointed investigators to re-examine allegations stemming from the party.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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