Audit finds school paid for beer

Updated: May 14, 2004, 1:34 AM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- University of Colorado football coaches regularly charged the school for beer delivered to their hotel rooms the night before away games, an audit found.

The practice, a violation of state rules, has cost the university at least $1,465 since 1999, according to preliminary results of the internal audit released Thursday.

University officials requested an audit of some football expenses as part of their investigation into a recruiting scandal. A prosecutor has said sex and alcohol were used to lure promising football recruits, and at least eight women have said they were raped by players or recruits since 1997.

Auditors identified room-service beer expenses from 10 hotel invoices. Other hotel bills did not show whether or how much beer was charged to the university, they said.

The report did not say how many invoices were reviewed or how many games were involved.

It was not immediately clear whether the coaches would be asked to reimburse the money. An athletics department spokesman did not answer his telephone after hours Thursday.

The practice did not break NCAA rules because no athletes were involved, the report said.

The audit also found the athletics department bought alcohol for the parents of football recruits attending dinners, a violation of school policy.

The total amount was not listed, but in one case the university reimbursed a dinner host $218.45 for alcohol. The host, who was unaware the practice was prohibited, was told not to bill the school for alcohol in the future, the report said.

No alcohol was served to the recruits in attendance, the auditors said.

Alcohol served to parents at a 2002 recruiting reception was charged to a university credit card, according to the report. Head coach Gary Barnett reimbursed the university through a private football camp he operates, called Buffalo Football Technique School, auditors said. The amount was not listed.

Barnett has been suspended with pay because of comments he made about at least one of the women who said they were raped by football players.

The audit also found an additional $608 in calls by a former assistant football recruiting coordinator to an escort service, dating service and chat line on a university cell phone.

The former recruiter, Nathan Maxcey, has repaid $586 in similar bills discovered earlier and has repaid part of the $608, auditors said.

The audit report will be provided to an independent commission investigating recruiting practices. The commission is working on its final report.

"The university will use the final written report to assist in making the serious decisions that face us in the coming weeks," university spokeswoman Michele Ames said.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press