Univ. of Colo. pays $2.85 million in settlement

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December 7, 2007

3:11 PM

p. This Wednesday, the University of Colorado issued a joint statement with the victims of a 2001 sexual assault crime stating that it would pay a total of $2.85 million to the victims involved.

p. Ken McConnellogue, the spokesman for the university, announced that the institution would also hire federal law specialists to advise the university about treating women equally. An additional position is also going to be added in the university’s Office of Victim Assistance.

p. In 2001, two women claimed that they had been raped at an off-campus party for football players and recruits. The lawsuit that followed claimed that the university had violated Title IX of U.S. law that mandates sexual equality in education. The lawsuit claimed that the university had known of the risk of sexual harassment in connection with the football recruiting program, but had taken no action.

p. A federal judge dismissed the case in 2005, citing lack of proof that the university had deliberately caused an unfair environment; however, Sept.10, 2007, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed and ruled that evidence was indeed present to suggest that the university was unable to supervise their players.

p. The two women, Lisa Simpson and Anne Gilmore, will be awarded $2.5 million and $350,000, respectively, by the university’s insurer.

p. “This settlement closes the chapter on a painful period in the university’s history,” Colorado President Hank Brown stated. “The University of Colorado is a different place than it was six years ago.”

p. The scandal prompted investigations into the athletic department at the university; these investigations revealed that drugs, alcohol and sex were indeed being used to bribe promising football recruits, and show them a “good time.”

p. Further investigations led to the examination of the entire athletic department and led to the resignations of the CU university system President Betsy Hoffman and Athletic Director Dick Tharp. Football Coach Gary Barnett left after the 2005 season.

p. “[Simpson] wanted change in the university,” Janine D’Anniballe, director of Boulder, Colo.’s rape crisis center said. “I think that’s what she got. Even more important than money is change.”

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