A Niwot High School student is allegedly sexually assaulted at a party by Colorado football recruits.
Boulder prosecutors Mary Keenan (now Mary Lacy) and Alex Hunter meet with Chancellor Richard Byyny and Athletic Director Dick Tharpe. A deposition released in 2004 includes Keenan saying that she put the football department “on notice” to prevent sex and alcohol from enticing recruits.
A get together at Lisa Simpson’s apartment turns into a party involving about 20 football recruits and a smaller number of women. Simpson and another student say they were raped and later file a lawsuit with student Monique Gillespie against the university.
Jan.: Excerpts from Keenan’s deposition quote her as accusing the football program of using sex and alcohol to lure recruits still in high school.
May: A grand jury is assembled and begins to investigate allegations of recruiting conduct and financial mismanagement at CU.
Aug.: The grand jury indicts CU recruiting aide Nathan Maxcey for improper use of a university-issued cell phone and for soliciting a prostitute.
Sept.: CU Board of Regents agrees to ask Judge Jeffrey Bayless to keep the grand jury report out of the public record.
Oct.: Bayless rules that the grand jury report should remain sealed because the investigation resulted in Maxcey’s indictment. Colorado state law, Bayless says, allows the grand jury only to release a report or an indictment.
Nov.: Bayless again rejects requests to unseal the report; then-Attorney General Ken Salazar plans to appeal the decision.
Nov.: Tharpe resigns as athletic director.
Dec.: Monique Gillespie drops from the Title IX lawsuit against CU.
Feb.: CU announces a 19 percent drop in out-of-state enrollment and project a resulting $15 million loss.
KUSA-TV airs a segment including portions of the leaked grand jury report. CU officials speak out against the leak.
March: CU Foundation president sues KUSA-TV for making “false and inflammatory statements . and (acting) with reckless disregard for the truth.” The lawsuit was later dropped.
State legislators begin calling for the resignation of football Coach Gary Barnett and CU President Elizabeth Hoffman.
The CU Board of Regents hires public relations consultant Christopher Simpson at $350-per-hour to manage the university’s image during the scandal.
U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn throws out the lawsuit against CU, writing a summary judgment that rejects that CU violated Title IX. Blackburn writes in the judgment that the facts didn’t form “a constellation of relevant events” that provides enough evidence for the case to go to trial.
April: Lisa Simpson’s attorney Baine Kerr announces his intention to appeal Blackburn’s ruling.
Blackburn begins reconsidering his dismissal of the lawsuit.
July: U.S. District Magistrate Judge Craig B. Shaffer orders CU to release documents that Simpson’s lawyers accuse the university of withholding.
Former low-ranking recruiting aide Nathan Maxcey pleads guilty to charges relating to the grand jury indictment.
Dec.: Coach Gary Barnett accepts a deal with the university and resigns as head coach while receiving $3 million in restitution.
Grand jury forewoman Lynette Griggs expresses frustration with the legal system for not releasing the grand jury report. “A lot of work went into that investigation, and it’s unfortunate that the report is not to be released,” Griggs says.
March: Judge Blackburn again dismisses the lawsuit against CU, saying that the plaintiff’s reasons for challenging his summary judgment are invalid.
A study by Ohio University Assistant Professor Heather Morris and two faculty members at Southeastern Louisiana University reveals that 27 percent of the more than 5,000 recruited athletes surveyed reported drinking alcohol on the recruiting trips, and eight admitted to rape.
June: Blackburn dismisses the lawsuit again.
Aug.: Lisa Simpson’s lawyers begin to appeal the Title IX lawsuit in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Oct.: An appeals court panel of judges reaffirms the decision the keep the grand jury report sealed.
May: The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in the case, according to KUSA-TV.
- Judges overturn 2005 Simpson decision
- Grand jury report regarding CU football recruiting practices to remain sealed
- CU football recruit rape case from 2000 could reopen
- Thunderbird court case continues
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