While the football fields sit quiet at the University of Colorado, the negative stories surrounding the team are quite loud.
From a three-year NCAA investigation of potential recruiting violations to criminal charges facing several players, the news out of Boulder is not the news the team or the university wants.
To begin with, here is the latest from the infamous December 7th recruiting party.
Sophomore DB Allen Mackey has been suspended and put on one-year probabtion by the university's Judical Affairs office for breaking the student code of conduct. Three other players, Marques Harris, Ron Monteilh and Corey Alexander are also facing disciplinary action for their actions at the party and may learn their fate as early as this week. Five students, who names are being withheld, are facing the same disipline.
Although Mackey has been suspended, it will not effect him playing football for CU in the fall. This is because the suspention is being held in abeyance until after the football season and the Judicary Office will not execute it against Mackey.
The university's punishment is different from any sentence Mackey and the others may receive if convicted in criminal court. All four players are facing at least one felony charge, including contributing to the delinquency of a minor, in connection with the party.occured between 1995-1998.
CU was first notified of potential recruiting violations in January of 1999. Most of the violations took place under former head coach Rick Neuheisel. The school was formally notified of the NCAA probe in January 2001 and then told in March of 2002 that they had until June 27th, 2002 to investigate the infractions and report them to the NCAA.
In the NCAA's offical letter of inquiry to Colorado, they cited 23 cases of improper contact with recruits, 29 prospects being reimbursed on recruiting trips in excess of the permissible amount allowed by the NCAA and 12 cases of visiting prospects improperly receiving CU apparel. Also cited was eight instances of Neuheisel and/or his staff using a private jet for recruiting without the university's knowledge.
Neuheisel coached CU from 1995-1998 and then took the head coaching job at the University of Washington. Gary Barnett replaced him in January of 1999. Both coaches are scheduled to appear at an NCAA hearing in Philadelphia August 9th-11th.
What is unknown at this point, is who is going to feel the brunt of the NCAA's punishment. CU could lose some scholarships for what the NCAA calls "lack of institutional control" during the Neuheisel era, or the U of W and Neuheisel could be fined. What doesn't bode well for UW is the fact that Neuheisel was investigated by the PAC-10 conference for recruiting violations his first year at Washington.