Colorado's Barnett called to appear before grand jury

Friday, July 30th 2004, 11:31 am
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) _ Colorado football coach Gary Barnett was called Friday to appear before a grand jury investigating his program's recruiting practices.

Barnett did not immediately go before the panel. He wouldn't comment to reporters.

He was suspended in February for comments he made about two women who accused football players of rape, then was reinstated in May after an investigative panel concluded he shouldn't be fired.

The grand jury investigation is the first indication criminal charges could be filed in a scandal that led to sweeping changes in the football recruiting program and a scathing review of university leadership.

At the governor's request, Attorney General Ken Salazar's office has been investigating. Salazar already decided against filing assault charges on allegations involving nine women dating to 1997, citing concerns about the evidence and the reluctance of the women to go forward with the cases.

The grand jury has heard from players, director of football operations David Hansburg, campus police and others since May. Legal experts have said they think investigators are trying to figure out whether university funds were misused, among other things.

Salazar's office has declined to comment.