Copyright © 2004 Henrietta W. Hay
Scandal at CU
February 13, 2004
My favorite jacket is black leather with the big yellow felt "C" on
it. I have been very proud of my athletic "C" which I got 70 years
after I won it back in 1934 at Colorado University. But now I find that
that "C" doesn't mean quite the same thing it did all those years ago.
CU is in the midst of a major football scandal, possibly the worst one
it has suffered in its lifetime. It makes me yearn a bit for the good
old days! Of course we were innocent as little lambs when I was in
Boulder. The drink of choice was cherry coke at the Sink. It was
during prohibition and there was no booze. Well, a little moonshine,
and it was consumed in deep privacy. (not by me) The only drug we knew
anything about was Aspirin. Sex was not considered a team sport.
There are several major issues involved. First, were the women raped?
There was obviously far too much liquor. There were illegal drugs
involved. Were sex/alcohol/drugs parties used as a recruiting tool?
Did the Athletic Department, specifically Coach Barnett, know about
them? And of course there is the all important issue of the money
football brings in. Naturally I don't know the facts, but we have to
assume some truth here and there.
It is extremely difficult to determine facts in a rape case. Until the
last few years, the woman was automatically assumed to be guilty. In
recent years she is being given a legal chance, But the three women who
are suing the University now are not asking the court to decide whether
a rape occurred. Rather, all three want the court to decide whether the
university was responsible for what happened the night of December 7,
2001. They claim the University should have known there was a problem
when another girl claimed she was raped at a recruiting party in 1997.
No criminal charges were filed in either case.
The Athletic Department, including Coach Barnett, has denied knowledge
of the kind of parties that were being held.
The problem of drunkenness on campus is a very serious one. From what I
read and hear, binge drinking is a mark of "hooray, I have grown up" for
many college students, and not just at CU. The University has tried to
handle it but these students are legally adults, even though they act
more like children rebelling against mama when she makes them drink
The regents have appointed Democrat Peggy Lamm and Republican Joyce
Lawrence to co-chair a committee to investigate. The appointment of the
rest of the committee will be a political hassle between the Regents
and Gov. Owens. CU President, Betsy Hoffman said, "We are being
threatened as an institution and a Board. We are being challenged by
the legislative branch and the executive branch that we cannot do our
So it will be a while before we know exactly what has been going on. I
am more concerned with what the future holds. The University is an
excellent institution of learning and research. It produces people who
excel in all fields. It is not, or should not be, known best as a
football team where anything goes to beat Nebraska and bring in big
I'll probably be run out of town, but maybe it is time to abolish
intercollegiate football. What is happening to our culture? We are
indignant about the half-time show at the Superbowl (oh yes, football
again). They say the two second sight of Janet Jackson's breast is
hurting our children. But letting our sons read and hear that football
recruiting can include booze and bodies isn't?
I think the entire nationwide football program should be thoroughly
examined and possibly eliminated. If it's broke, let's fix it. Who
knows, maybe it is time to go back to playing for fun -- like in 1934.