DENVER -- A grand jury looking into the University of
Colorado football scandal heard testimony Friday from a parade of
athletes and a former recruiting aide accused of paying $2,000 to
an escort service.
The aide, Nathan Maxcey, testified for two hours without an
attorney after at least nine current or former players went inside. He said he did not believe he would be indicted.
"I answered the questions I wanted to answer," Maxcey said
afterward, refusing to be specific. "I didn't answer the ones I
didn't want to."
Maxcey, a football recruiting aide from June 2002 to July 2003, has said any sexual liaisons he arranged were for him, not
"The only thing they could possibly indict me for is
solicitation," said Maxcey. "Just ask all the recruits
who were there when I was there whether they did anything [wrong] and they'll say no."
The grand jury investigation is the first indication criminal
charges may be filed in a scandal that has led to sweeping changes
in the football program and a scathing review of university leadership.
Legal experts have said they think investigators led by the
office of Attorney General Ken Salazar are trying to figure out
whether university funds were misused. Salazar's office has
declined to comment.
Among those testifying last month before the grand jury was
Pasha Cowan, who has said Maxcey paid her former escort service
$2,000 in cash.
Her attorney, Mark Johnson, said she has told police and
attorneys handling federal lawsuits against the school that Maxcey
hired escorts for football players. Maxcey has repeatedly denied
Among the players called into the grand jury room Friday was
linebacker Chris Hollis, who was suspended in February for taking a
recruit to a strip club in Boulder. Another player, lineman Del
Scales, refused to discuss his testimony but said he hasn't seen
anything he would consider improper or illegal during his time at
"Maybe, hopefully, I helped the team," said Scales, who
announced this week he was leaving Colorado to be closer to his
suburban Dallas home.
Scales, who announced this week he was leaving Colorado to be
closer to his suburban Dallas home, denied that the scandal had
disrupted the team. "If anything, the scandal has brought the team
together," he said.
Salazar, at the governor's request, has been investigating
whether criminal charges are warranted in the scandal, which
includes allegations of sexual assault and questions about the use
of university funds.
Salazar earlier decided against charges in nine alleged assaults
by football players or recruits, citing evidentiary concerns and
the reluctance of the women to go forward with the cases. The
assault allegations date to at least 1997.
A Board of Regents investigative commission concluded university
officials did not condone any misconduct but repeatedly failed to
properly oversee the athletics department. The commission, which
lacked subpoena power, also urged the attorney general to look into
the circumstances surrounding Maxcey.
According to the commission, three call girls from Best Variety
said Maxcey paid them at least $2,000 in cash over a 45-day period
"and arranged sex for other young men" at a Broomfield hotel.
Maxcey's duties included picking up recruits and checking them
in at the hotel, the Omni Interlocken, which is used by football
recruits visiting the campus in nearby Boulder.
A recent university audit found Maxcey made nearly $1,200 worth
of calls to an escort service and a chat line from his
school-issued cell phone. He has repaid the university most of the
Director of football operations David Hansburg in February said
Cowan told him about Maxcey's sexual liaisons during a call in
which she asked for a job. According to Hansburg, Cowan said, "I'm
not trying to blackmail you."
Still pending in the scandal are federal lawsuits filed by three
women who say they were raped by recruits or players at or just
after an off-campus party in December 2001. Boulder County
prosecutor Mary Keenan's allegation that the school uses sex and
alcohol to entice recruits -- made in a deposition for one of the
suits -- helped spark the scandal earlier this year.
The lawsuits accuse Colorado of failing to protect the women
under federal Title IX law, which guarantees equal access to an
education. They seek unspecified damages.