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Colorado Football Players Charged

May 4, 2002

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BOULDER, Colo. (AP) _ Prosecutors filed felony charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor against four University of Colorado football players Friday as team members and other supporters rallied outside.

Allen Mackey, Marques Harris, Ron Monteilh and Corey Alexander are accused of giving alcohol to visiting high school recruits they were assigned to supervise. Monteilh also was charged with distributing marijuana, said his attorney, Stephan Wall.

The players’ attorneys have said the men deny wrongdoing.

The charges stem from an off-campus party in December where a woman said she was raped. Last week, prosecutors decided against pursuing rape charges.

Judge Carolyn Hoye Enichen approved a request by three of the men to return to their out-of-state homes before their next court appearance, which is scheduled June 17. Harris did not make any request.

About 80 students and friends rallied in support of the players outside the jail, applauding and then hugging the players and shaking their hands as they left the building. Some held signs saying ``Stop the institutional racism.″

Supporters said the players, who are black, are being unfairly punished for a common problem on campus: binge drinking. Others said they are being indirectly connected to the rape allegations.

``We are here to support them, but we’re also here to rally against the exploitation that’s happened to them,″ said Monique Bronner, a senior.

She said the charges perpetuate stereotypes of black men as criminals and drug-users.

Quarterback Zac Colvin helped organize the rally. ``We wanted them to know the community was behind them,″ he said.

The regional director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who met with three of the players before the hearing, said they should be facing only misdemeanor charges.

``To simply say we’re going to take four out of 40 or 50 people and charge them and not charge anyone else, that’s absurd,″ the Rev. Gil Ford told KCNC-TV in Denver.

City officials said Thursday they would not file any other charges in connection with the party because that would prevent some witnesses from testifying against the four players.

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