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Former athletic official has been queried twice

2/26/2005 - Colorado Buffaloes

DENVER -- Lawyers for the University of Colorado asked a
federal judge Friday to prohibit a woman suing the school from
taking a third deposition from a former athletic official.

Attorneys for former CU student Lisa Simpson have already
interviewed Robert Chichester, a former senior athletic director
for about nine hours on two separate occasions. Another deposition
would "constitute annoyance and an undue burden to Chichester,"
according to documents filed by the university in U.S. District
Court.

The lawsuit filed by Simpson, who alleges she was sexually
assaulted by football players or recruits during an off-campus
party in December 2001, helped spark the football recruiting
scandal last year.

Simpson's attorney, Baine Kerr, declined to comment Friday on
the university's filing.

In an earlier deposition, Chichester said he had numerous
discussions with head football coach Gary Barnett about the
school's recruiting techniques following the 2001 party.

According to Chichester's deposition, Barnett said social
parties for recruits occur at universities across the country.

"If [players] weren't taking [recruits] out and partying, then
it would be a recruiting disadvantage," Chichester testified.
"And if alcohol happened to be there, Coach Barnett never really
voiced an opinion to me that that was objectionable."

Chichester said Barnett indicated he didn't know what happened
during recruiting visits. Chichester said he thought the coach
could have taken a stronger lead in discouraging such activities,
according to the deposition released in February 2004.

Barnett has said he imposes a strict curfew for recruits and
makes host players promise not to expose recruits to questionable
behavior.

Simpson's lawsuit accuses the university of allowing its
athletics department to harbor an environment in which women were
routinely sexually harassed, which violated federal law that
protects equal access to education for men and women.

Another woman who claims she also was sexually assaulted during
the December 2001 party filed a similar lawsuit against the school.
The two lawsuits have been combined into one case and a trial is
set for May 31.

It is the policy of The Associated Press not to publish the
names of alleged sexual assault victims. Simpson has agreed to have
her name used in media reports. The other woman has asked that her
name be withheld.