Congressman Requests Hearing on CU Recruiting

Michigan House Democrat <b>John Conyers Jr.</b> requested congressional hearings into accusations of sexual misconduct and recruiting tactics by the Colorado football program Monday, saying that the recruiting practices at the University of Colorado and other schools across the country are "spiraling dangerously out of control."

Conyers made his request to Chairman James Sensenbrenner, who's spokesman could not say immediately if it had been seen by the congressman.

"The concept of women as a reward for male athletes is a rampant attitude throughout both college and pro football," Conyers wrote in a letter that an oversight hearing be held in connection with the Violence Against Women Act. "This committee should take the opportunity amidst all this scandal to examine whether or not our laws are adequately protecting both the safety and equality of women on campus."

Conyers was re-elected in November of 2002 to his 19th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, winning 83 percent of the vote in Michigan's 14th Congressional District. Conyers is the second most senior member in the House of Representatives and was elected by his congressional colleagues to lead the Democratic side of the pivotal House Committee on the Judiciary.

Three women filed federal lawsuits a month ago against the school, alleging they were raped by football players or potential recruits during a party in 2001.

Seven women in all have accused football players of sexual assault since 1997, though no charges have been filed.

Football coach Gary Barnett was suspended last month after criticizing the ability of former kicker Katie Hnida, just hours after she said she was raped in 2000. He has said his statements were taken out of context and insisted the school did everything it could for Hnida.

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