April 11, 2002
The University of Colorado at Boulder has received a letter from the National Collegiate Athletic Association alleging violations of NCAA football recruiting rules that occurred in recruiting seasons 1996, 1997 and 1998. Rick Neuheisel was coach of the CU football team at that time.
Chancellor Richard L. Byyny has asked his Committee on Compliance, chaired by Provost Phil DiStefano, to investigate the allegations, compile requested documentation, and provide a full report to the NCAA on or before the deadline of June 27, 2002.
In January, 1999, NCAA alerted CU to the possibility of recruiting violations based on a news article about a recruit's visit. We responded to that request for information. At about the same time, former coach Rick Neuheisel left and Coach Gary Barnett arrived to head up the football program.
Upon coach Barnett's arrival, the Athletic Department conducted an internal audit and began self-reporting on rules violations cited as they were discovered. While the university was formally informed of the NCAA investigation of recruiting practices in July, 2001, we have cooperated fully with the NCAA investigation over the past three years and will continue to do so as the Committee on Compliance responds to the NCAA.
In fact much of the written documentation requested in the letter has already been provided.
Many of the violations cited in the letter are secondary, self-reported violations.
These include such items as: A CU staff member phoned a walk-on player after he had transferred to a different institution; excessive reimbursement for mileage to recruits ranging from $3.20 to $35.76; $15 in excessive entertainment money to each of three student hosts of recruits; use of a hotel game room at a cost of $3 over the limit for some recruiting weekends; provision of TV station tours and a gift of a mock interview tape; and allowing a newspaper reporter from a recruit's hometown to be present during a campus visit.
All of these particular secondary violations were self-reported, but remain as part of the NCAA investigation so that the entire file can be closed at once.
Other allegations included:
1. Football coaching staff under Rick Neuheisel's direction regularly making in-person, off-campus "contacts" with prospective student-athletes outside of appropriate contact periods. Seven of 25 recruits cited as impermissibly contacted ended up playing for the University of Colorado.
2. Failure to recover athletic apparel provided for campus visit weekends and inadequate equipment room monitoring.
3. Use of a private jet without proper documentation by then-coach Neuheisel for recruiting.
4. Attendance at a prospect's baseball game by an unauthorized athletic department staff member.
The accumulation of these violations led the NCAA to allege a lack of institutional control primarily by Coach Neuheisel and his recruiting staff.
Since the alleged violations outlined in the letter occurred, the CU <