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Former Buffs coach Barnett says lawsuit held school 'hostage'

DENVER -- Former University of Colorado football coach Gary Barnett says the lawsuit brought by two women who claimed they were gang-raped by football players and recruits at a party held the school "hostage".

CU announced it was settling the lawsuit on Wednesday, three
months after an appellate court revived the case. Without admitting
fault or liability, the school agreed to pay Lisa Simpson $2.5
million, while the other woman, who did not wish be identified
publicly, will receive $350,000.

In a posting on his Web site, Barnett said the settlement means
CU and its athletic department will never get their day in court.

"It is hard to believe that we live in a society where
allegations have enough clout to hold a wonderful and well
respected university hostage," he said.

No sexual assault charges were filed as a result of the women's
complaints. A grand jury investigation resulted in a single
indictment against a former football recruiting aide for soliciting
a prostitute and misusing a school cell phone.

A separate inquiry, backed by the university's governing Board
of Regents, concluded that drugs, alcohol and sex were used to
entice blue chip recruits to the Boulder campus but said none of
the activity was knowingly sanctioned by university officials.

The scandal prompted broad university reforms and led to a
shake-up of the school's top leaders. CU President Betsy Hoffman
and Athletic Director Dick Tharp resigned but Barnett survived. He
later accepted a buyout after a 70-3 loss to Texas in the 2005 Big
12 championship game.

Simpson's lawyer, Baine Kerr, said he wasn't surprised by
Barnett's reaction.

"It's just ironic that that the guy who was responsible for
causing so much damage would be blaming others, but it's to be
expected from him," Kerr said.