BOULDER, Colo. -- University of Colorado football coach Gary
Barnett sent his boss an e-mail asking "how aggressive shoould I
be re; katie .... sexual conquests by her etc." after former
player Katie Hnida said she had been raped by a teammate.
Barnett's e-mail to athletic director Richard Tharp was among
hundreds of pages of documents released Friday by an independent
commission investigating recruiting practices at the university.
Barnett's lawyer said he had no comment. University spokeswoman
Michele Ames also declined comment.
Barnett's e-mail is dated Feb. 17, the day that Sports
Illustrated published a story quoting Hnida, a kicker, as saying
she was raped by another CU player in 2000.
That was also the day Barnett told reporters, "It was obvious
Katie was not very good. She was awful. ... Katie was not only a
girl, she was terrible. OK? There's no other way to say it."
Barnett was suspended the next day for those comments and others
attributed to him about another woman who said she was raped by a
CU player. Barnett said his comments about Hnida were
misinterpreted or taken out of context.
When he appeared before the independent commission this month,
Barnett again said Hnida was a bad player, but added, "I didn't
care how awful she was, I wanted her on the team." He said he
hoped Hnida's presence would help male players learn more about
women and teach them watch their behavior.
University President Betsy Hoffman has said she expects to
decide next month whether Barnett will be reinstated.
Hnida, who now attends the University of New Mexico, had no
comment Friday, said Greg Remington, a university spokesman.
Kathy Redmond, founder of the National Coalition Against Violent
Athletes, said the e-mail was "disturbing and disgusting."
"This is the rape culture I'm talking about. The victim
smearing," she said. "If you send something of that nature to an
athletic director, there is no possible way they could claim they
were ignorant to any of these allegations."
The independent commission, established by the school's Board of
Regents, is investigating allegations that the football program
uses sex and alcohol to recruit promising athletes.
The panel has a May 14 deadline to report its findings. It
received the e-mails and other documents Thursday.
"There's a sense of frustration that time is running short for
the commission, but there still seems to be a lot of pertinent
information that needs to be reviewed," spokesman Evan Dryer said.
Some e-mails released Friday supported Barnett, including one
from former Northwestern athletic director Rick Taylor to Tharp.
Barnett coached at Northwestern before moving to Colorado.
"I just viewed the ESPN piece on recruiting at Colorado and
found it to be blatantly unfair to both the University and Gary
Barnett. If there is any one I can talk to regarding Gary's conduct
in recruiting while he was at Northwestern, I would be pleased to
do so," Taylor wrote.
At least eight women since 1997 have accused players and
recruits of rape, but no charges have been filed. The university
has been sued in federal court by three of the women, who say it
fostered a hostile environment in violation of federal law
guaranteeing equal access to education.