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CFN: Barnett must be fired

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  • CFN: Barnett must be fired

    Barnett and the Colorado situation
    Time needs to be up for Barnett in Boulder


    Editorial by Pete Fiutak

    If Rick Neuheisel can get fired for not being forthcoming about playing in a legal basketball pool and Mike Price can get canned for checking out a strip club, then Colorado head coach Gary Barnett has to be fired immediately for making a disgraceful situation even worse.

    I've never been the biggest fan of Barnett with the way he conducted himself at the end of his Northwestern reign and with how he handled the current scandal when it first started, but I did cut him some slack under the belief that players, and that includes recruits, need to be responsible enough to know the difference between right and wrong.

    It doesn't matter if there's an environment of lawlessness around a college football program; right is right and wrong is wrong and despite claims of immaturity, entitlement and other enabling excuses, the alleged parties should’ve known what was and wasn't criminal behavior. If the rape and sexual misconduct allegations are true, then those players and recruits are criminals. Period.

    If it ended there, then it might have been excusable for Barnett to get a chance to change things around. Colorado initially did the right thing by keeping Barnett on double secret probation until all due investigating was complete, but now the situation has gotten too far out of hand for there not to be a coaching change.

    Coaches can’t know everything at all times, but the current problems in Boulder are going beyond a bit of mere ignorance as Barnett has crossed the line from having issues with his players to being part of the problem himself. As bad as things were, they’ve gotten worse after Barnett fanned the flames and ruined all credibility to his claims of sensitivity to the program's issues.

    Whether or not you believe that Barnett never knew of any impropriety among his players when it came to former CU kicker Katie Hnida during her time in Boulder, there’s no denying that he completely blew it with his disparaging comments about her in such a sensitive time. (In response to several e-mails, I do realize these comments were just about her kicking ability and not her as a person.)

    "It was obvious Katie was not very good. She was awful," Barnett said. "Katie was not only a girl, she was terrible. OK? There's no other way to say it."

    Fine. She could’ve been the worst kicker in the history of college football, but that has nothing to do with whether or not she was sexually harassed and raped by Barnett’s players and that's what he should be addressing in a better way. That he had the insensitivity to say anything negative about Hnida right now shows how he just doesn’t get it, and would lead to the conclusion that it was possible for a dangerous environment to fester under his tenure whether he knew it or not.

    If he didn’t know that things were bad before the situation blew up, he should be fired for not having any control over his players and for his rules and discipline being totally ignored. If he did have some knowledge of the problems with Colorado football and did next to nothing about it, then he should be fired. Either way, his era must come to an end.

    This whole nightmare has done almost irreparable damage to the image of the Colorado football program and the school, but it can be changed. School president Betsy Hoffman would be totally right in starting anew and totally revamping the Colorado coaching staff. This can be fixed with time and an overall program change.

    But how? Bill McCartney was a religious family man and a leader of the Promise Keepers, yet the program was a renegade outfit towards the end of his tenure. Neuheisel appeared to be a rising star, but he left Colorado with numerous NCAA violations. Barnett was supposed to be a disciplinarian, but that obviously didn't work. Is Colorado football unsalvageable? No, but the next coaching hire has to be perfect with record coming second to an ability to keep things clean.

    The University of Colorado has to do something right now to try stop the bleeding. It has to show the world that it’s serious about change, and has to start fresh. Wins and losses on the football field are meaningless with the honor of a big-time academic institution at stake.
    June 9, 1973 - The day athletic perfection was defined.

  • #2
    Thanks for posting that. CFN is a great site, and Fiutak's calvacade of whimsy is a hiliarious and informative read.


    • #3
      Colorado is a HUGE party school...always has been
      Go Cards ...12 in 13.