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Grand jury interviews Hansburg for three hours

7/23/2004 - Colorado Buffaloes

DENVER -- The top football official at the University of
Colorado met for nearly three hours Friday with a statewide grand
jury investigating the program's recruiting practices.

Director of football operations David Hansburg declined to
comment on what he told the panel, which has been meeting since
May, before leaving the courthouse with attorney Nancy Holton.

"We are done," she said.

Holton represented one of two football players cleared of sexual
assault allegations earlier this year involving an incident in
August 2002. Holton has accused police of racial profiling for
targeting her client because he is black. She declined to confirm
whether she also was representing Hansburg.

Other witnesses at the courthouse included David Grimm, a former
spokesman for the university during the 1990s, and Theresa
Bradbury, a Boulder police investigator from 1996 until last month. Campus police Detective Brannon Winn, who investigated allegations
that prostitutes were hired for recruits and accusations of assault
at a party in December 2001, was also present.

None of the witnesses would comment to reporters.

"Until the grand jury gives me permission to speak, I just feel
as though I can't," Grimm said after his 2½-hour appearance before
the panel.

The grand jury investigation is the first indication criminal
charges may be filed in a scandal that has led to sweeping changes
in the football recruiting program and a scathing review of
university leadership.

At the governor's request, Attorney General Ken Salazar's office
is investigating the scandal, including claims by nine women since
1997 that they were sexually assaulted by football players or
recruits.

Salazar decided against filing assault charges, citing
evidentiary concerns and the reluctance of the women to go forward
with the cases.

The grand jury investigation, however, has heard from a parade
of players and others over the past two months. Legal experts have
said they think investigators are trying to figure out whether
university funds were misused, among other things. Salazar's office
has declined to comment.

Among the witnesses who have already testified is Pasha Cowan,
who has said former recruiting aide Nathan Maxcey paid her former
escort service $2,000 in cash over a 45-day period between June
2002 and July 2003.

Maxcey, who has also testified, says any liaisons were for him.
Cowan and her attorney, however, said Maxcey hired escorts for
football players.

Earlier this year, Hansburg said Cowan told him about Maxcey's
sexual liaisons during a call in which she asked for a job.
According to Hansburg, Cowan said, "I'm not trying to blackmail
you."

Cowan has disputed any suggestion of extortion.

A Board of Regents investigative commission concluded earlier
this year that university officials did not condone any misconduct
but repeatedly failed to properly oversee the athletics department.
The commission, which lacked subpoena power, urged the attorney
general to look into the circumstances surrounding Maxcey.

Still pending in the scandal are federal lawsuits filed by three
women who say they were raped by recruits or players at or just
after an off-campus party in December 2001. Boulder County
prosecutor Mary Keenan's allegation that the school uses sex and
alcohol to entice recruits -- made in a deposition last fall for one
of the suits -- helped spark the scandal.

The lawsuits accuse Colorado of failing to protect the women
under federal Title IX law, which guarantees equal access to an
education. They seek unspecified damages.