Costs are certain to grow, regent says

Updated: March 14, 2004, 12:01 AM ET
Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. -- The football recruiting scandal at the University of Colorado has cost the school more $422,260 in legal fees over the past 15 months.

Documents released Friday also show the university expects to pay an additional $100,000 for a temporary administrator to help oversee the athletic department and $350,000 for a special commission investigating the scandal.

The costs are certain to grow, CU Regent Jim Martin said. "This is just the beginning," he said.

The university is embroiled in allegations that some football recruits were entertained with sex, drunken parties and professional strippers. Seven women have accused Colorado football players or recruits of rape since 1997.

The legal fees are for outside attorneys to defend the university against federal lawsuits filed by three of the women, who say they were raped at or just after a 2001 off-campus party attended by football players and recruits.

The women say the school failed to rein in its athletes and fostered an environment so hostile it contributed to the assaults.

The legal fees date to filing of the first lawsuit in December 2002.

No sexual assault charges have been filed in any of the cases.

Football coach Gary Barnett is on paid leave for remarks he made in connection with two of the rape allegations. The scandal also triggered a state criminal investigation, congressional hearings and an NCAA task force.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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