Lawsuit: Stanford players took recruits to strip clubs

STANFORD, Calif. -- A lawsuit by a disgruntled Stanford athletic department employee revealed that football players took recruits to a strip club three years ago using athletic department money.

Stanford officials acknowledged the strip club outings, which did not violate NCAA rules at the time. The school reported minor infractions to the Pac-10 and NCAA that hosts spent more than the $30 allowed for entertaining recruits -- by $3.70, $6.01 and $6.86.

"Although such actions did not violate NCAA regulations, we believe our students should abide by strict standards of conduct that obviously preclude such entertainment as any part of recruitment activity," the school said in a statement Tuesday.

The outings, first reported by the San Jose Mercury News, came to light in a lawsuit filed by Sheryl Kanzaki, who alleged mistreatment by senior associate athletic director Debra Gore-Mann while she worked in the department's accounting office from 2002-03.

According to the lawsuit, Kanzaki received several handwritten receipts for $20 because "Stanford players and coaches were seeking reimbursement" for expenditures at the New Century Theater, a San Francisco strip club, and alcohol purchases by minors.

University officials, however, said coaches were not involved.

Buddy Teevens, the Cardinal's head coach at the time who now coaches at Dartmouth, said he learned of the outings after the fact.

"It came to our attention and we addressed it with the players and the administrators," Teevens told the newspaper. "There were no suspensions, but action was taken."

At the time of the outings, neither Stanford nor the NCAA governed how host players could entertain recruits, but the NCAA clamped down in August 2004, after allegations that the University of Colorado enticed recruits using sex and alcohol.

"Now there are rules about what the host money can be spent on," Stanford attorney Patrick Dunkley said, "and strip clubs are off-limits."

The strip club outing was only a small part of the 35-page lawsuit by Kanzaki accusing Gore-Mann of "promulgating a culture of intolerance and retaliation" against employees who exercised their rights under family and medical leave law.

Gore-Mann was not made available for comment by the university.