It’s unlikely Barnett will grace Buffs’ sideline again |

It’s unlikely Barnett will grace Buffs’ sideline again

Despite college football ending more than a month ago, the University of Colorado football team is taking some crushing hits.

And those hits aren’t just bumps and bruises that will heal in a few weeks. Or months. Or, likely, years.

The Buffaloes are incurring the kind of injury that leaves an ugly scar. And, being one of the most visible products at CU, the university as a whole is also taking a beating ” guilt by association.

Colorado football players have been accused of seven rapes dating back to 1997.

It should be noted that there have been no convictions. But, in the world of public relations, perception is reality.

And the reality is, heads will have to roll, regardless of what is found by a special committee tasked with investigating the rape accusations and other further accusations that recruits are lured to the school with sex and alcohol.

Head football coach Gary Barnett was the first casualty after comments made to the media last week regarding former kicker Katie Hnida, who said she was raped by a teammate in 2000.

Barnett, referring to her abilities as a kicker, said she was “not only a girl, she was terrible.” CU officials deemed the comments insensitive in light of the rape allegations and he was suspended with pay shortly thereafter.

It’s CU’s football culture that’s really on trial in the court of public opinion, and Barnett is at the apex of it. He may or may not have had knowledge of the alleged misdeeds of his players, but it happened on his watch.

Regardless of whether the accusations can be proven true, it’s unlikely the special committee will completely exonerate the football program or the athletic program at this point ” it would just lead to another special committee to investigate the first special committee.

So don’t expect Barnett to be on the Buffs’ sideline next season. Deserved or not, someone always has to take the fall. And Barnett may not be the only one.

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