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Report: ‘Slush Fund’ Uncovered at CU

March 1, 2005

DENVER (AP) _ A grand jury investigating the University of Colorado recruiting scandal uncovered a ``slush fund″ financed by coach Gary Barnett’s Football Technique School, according to a report obtained Monday by The Denver Post and KUSA-TV.

Money was kept in ``16 or 17″ cash boxes, with each managed by a different person with little oversight, the Post reported.

CU director of football operations David Hansburg ``told the grand jury that up to $2,500 could be missing, but not missed,″ the report says. ``All funds were available to employees of the football program″ and ``all funds were available to coach Barnett to use in his discretion.″

Barnett told the grand jury that ``the school received only income from the registration fees of (football camp) participants,″ the report says.

The grand jury, which finished meeting Aug. 19, handed up just one indictment, accusing former football recruiting aide Nathan Maxcey of soliciting for a prostitute for himself. Former call girl Pasha Cowan has said Maxcey paid her $2,500 for three call girls to visit ``very young, very athletic men″ at Boulder-area hotels, though Maxcey has said any solicitation was for him.

The report concurred with an independent commission’s finding last year that players used sex, alcohol and marijuana as recruiting tools without the football staff encouraging or sanctioning it.

But the report said, officials’ denial of knowledge about the practices ``demonstrates either conscious disregard of these circumstances or a lack of oversight of recruiting practices.″

In a statement provided by the CU athletic department, Barnett said: ``I am sure there are things I’d like to refute, but since this has to do directly with the grand jury investigation, I am bound by law that I would not discuss my testimony or anything that was discussed by or included in the grand jury report.″

Hansburg also declined comment, citing state grand jury secrecy rules.

The report said Barnett and Hansburg gave conflicting explanations of the team’s finances.

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