Jan. 19, 2005
SportsLine.com wire reports

BOULDER, Colo. -- The University of Colorado has relaxed some recruiting restrictions imposed last year amid a sex-and-alcohol scandal and is allowing prospective football players to spend more time meeting with current team members.

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The university banned the use of "player-hosts" to show recruits around campus and required closer supervision by coaches after an independent commission found that some players had arranged sex, drugs and alcohol for recruits.

Provost Phil DiStefano said Tuesday the university is now allowing recruits to spend more time one-on-one with current players "without coaches sitting there."

Recruiting visits are still limited to one night and curfew remains 11 p.m., DiStefano said. Coaches, not players, are still responsible for the recruits during their stay, he said.

The rules were eased after Jack Lengyel became interim athletic director, replacing Dick Tharp, who resigned. Lengyel said coach Gary Barnett brought up the issue about individual contact between players and recruits.

"When I first came on board, we discussed policies and procedures and (Barnett and DiStefano) and the football staff agreed that kind of time was needed," Lengyel said.

Some players recruited under the old rules complained.

"I got to talk to players, but it was definitely restricted," said Jake Behrens, a fullback from Omaha, Neb., who still committed to Colorado. "I felt like I kind of lacked a point of view that I couldn't get from being around somebody for a longer period of time."

The recruiting scandal occurred a year ago after a woman filed a lawsuit saying she was raped at an off-campus party attended by CU players and recruits. At least nine women, including former CU kicker Katie Hnida, have alleged they were raped by football players or recruits since 1997, but no criminal sexual assault charges were filed.

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