- - - - -

Sunday Morning Quarterback

Sunday Morning Quarterback

Thursday, December 08, 2005

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Wherein SMQ chronicles eligibility-crippling issues, legal, academic, institutional and otherwise...

Gary Barnett...in trouble? At Colorado? Wha?

Days after a report that the embattled, four-time-in-five-years division title-winning coach was on his way out, the school is forced to investigate further Barnett's involvement in allegations made in an anonymous letter first received by a private investigator and reported by The Rocky Mountain News:
BOULDER, Colo. -- Colorado has asked school attorneys to review an unsigned letter that makes allegations of improper conduct against embattled football coach Gary Barnett, a university spokeswoman said Thursday.

Some of the allegations in the letter, which was first reported by the Rocky Mountain News, have already been investigated, spokeswoman Michelle McKinney said. She said the attorneys are trying to determine whether any of them warrant further investigation.

"It is an anonymous letter, so there is some caution on how you approach this," McKinney said. "Several investigations the university has been subjected to have looked at these allegations. If there are any allegations that our legal counsel believe were not full investigated, we do intend to thoroughly look into them."

The letter alleges, among other things, that Barnett attempted to influence sworn testimony by his subordinates during the football program's recent recruiting scandal and that football players were tipped off in advance of supposedly random drug tests, the newspaper said.
The letter was disclosed amid speculation that Barnett will soon lose his job because his team lost three straight games by a combined score of 130-22. Barnett survived the recruiting scandal last year, although the university's president, chancellor and athletic director resigned in its aftermath. Two investigations looked into allegations of misbehavior, including rape, but the only criminal charge involved the misuse of a university-issued cell phone by an aide. Investigators also said sex, drugs and alcohol were available for recruits, though no school official knowingly condoned it.

Steven Snyder, a private investigator who worked for a regents-backed independent commission that looked into the scandal, told the News he received the anonymous letter in October and turned it over to CU President Hank Brown.

Snyder said his work for the commission ended in mid-2004 but he continues to receive tips about the university. He said he did not act on most them because he did not consider them serious, but he thought university officials should see the unsigned letter.

Brown told the News he also gave copies of the letter to state and federal prosecutors. McKinney said she could not confirm that. Spokesmen for the prosecutors declined to comment.
The Denver Post reported this week that a source close to the negotiations between Barnett and the university "indicated" the coach will not be given a contract extension.

The Post did not identify the source. Barnett declined to comment on the report, and athletic director Mike Bohn would not say whether it was true.

Brown told the News he did not think the unsigned letter would affect Barnett's contract.
The university regents declined to comment about Barnett after a 31⁄2-hour executive session Thursday.

"I think that's still in the hands of the chancellor and the athletic director," Brown said
That is a long report to say nobody has any idea what's happened, what's currently happening or what's going to happen.

On the heels of last week's mysterious scandals and anonymous rats, we have more intrigue: who wrote the letter?

SMQ has a few suspects:

Rick Neuheisel

I wanted to expose the conspiracy - It's in the water, see? There's something in the water in Boulder! I told you it wasn't my fault! The government put something in the water! Some kind of chemical that makes you lose every shred of your conscience and common decency! It's the water! The government! JFK! You can't silence the truth! You can't silence the truth!

Bobby Brady

Fired? But this was all supposed to be just an implausible but ultimately innocent misunderstanding that's comically settled within the half hour!

Gary Barnett

Why? I wanted to get fired! You're looking at the new head scout for the New York Mets!

ADDENDUM, DEC. 9: Barnett is out, and he only gets $3 mil to take with him. Take that, cheater! ESPN's Pat Forde provides a few possible successors, including Boise State's Dan Hawkins and former Tennessee and current Miami D-coordinator Randy Shannon.

SMQ watched Forde on Outside the Lines Thursday night, when the analyst - who said he played high school ball under Barnett - blamed the firing not on scandals, but on losing. The scandals laid the foundation for the move, he said, but the fact that Barnett wasn't dropped until almost two full years after the rape and sex for recruits scandals broke in the media - not to mention his unintentionally sexist diss of subpar kicker Katie Hnida - was based on the fact that "he's not winning as many games as he has in the past."

Really? Under Barnett:

Colorado in 1999: 7-5 (5-3 Big XII), Insight.com Bowl
Colorado in 2000: 3-8 (3-5 Big XII)
Colorado in 2001: 10-3 (8-1 Big XII), Big XII Overall Champions, Fiesta Bowl
Colorado in 2002: 9-5 (7-2 Big XII), Big XII North Champions, Alamo Bowl
Colorado in 2003: 5-7 (3-5 Big XII)
Colorado in 2004: 8-5 (4-5 Big XII), Big XII North Champions, Houston Bowl
Colorado in 2005: 7-5 (5-4 Big XII), Big XII North Champions, Champs Sports Bowl

Forde's comments made it sound like Barnett had won ten three seasons running, but the Buffs clearly peaked in '01 and have been clinging to mediocrity since. If Barnett was going to be fired for diminishing returns, it would have happened well before Thursday. Even if you factor in the scandal, CU's record this season is identical to its pre-bowl record last season, when it was also blown out in the conference championship by an undefeated, mythical title game-bound opponent. On average, this season - one in which SMQ and many others had CU ranked as late as Thanksgiving - typified Barnett's run as a whole.

His being shown the door was due to a conflagrance of factors, but suddenly losing - when compared to the results of the recent past - hardly seems like a sensible one.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2:17 PM

Comments: Post a Comment
Powered by Blogger


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
And don't let the name fool ya - second guessing the phenomenal athletic feats and split-second decisions of college kids under extreme physical duress is for every day of the week.

AWWW!! The totally nicest people, like, ever!...

How much football does he watch? Dude's got insights on -everybody-, and by everybody, I mean everybody. Throw in some of the best writing in the blogosphere, and we're talking about a daily must-read.
- Burnt Orange Nation

SMQ starts to sound more and more like the Gregg Easterbrook of our ideal memories every day - whip-smart, systematic, omnivorous in his intellectual tastes and yet unafraid of the cheap joke.
- Every Day Should Be Saturday

Sunday Morning Quarterback is one of our favorite football blogs on the internet.
- State Fans Nation

Sunday Morning Quarterback is a killer football blog if you are a college football junkie. It is run by one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and analytical writers in the college football blogosphere...The guy is thorough and detailed and provides a level of analysis you are not going to find anywhere else .
- Bruins Nation

Just another hack writer who hasn't done one lick of research... - SOT2

...the pride of Southern Mississippi ever since Brett Favre turned into an ESPN soap opera, has the sort of prose knack that can keep you riveted to a preview about any one of D-IA's scrubbier members ... should be given gifts.
- MGoBlog

- - - - -
e-mail Sunday Morning Quarterback at sundaymorningqb@yahoo.com

- - - - -

2006 Preview
Anatomy of an Underdog
BlogPoll: 1-10/11-25/Roundtable
The Big Ten
The Big XII
The Sun Belt

Running Departments
The Rap Sheet
July 29/Aug. 1/Aug. 9/Aug. 16/Aug.19/Aug. 25/Sept. 28/Oct. 4/Oct. 5/Oct. 18/Oct. 26/Nov. 2/Nov. 7/Nov. 8/Nov. 28/Dec. 2/Dec. 8/ Dec. 11/Dec. 18/Dec. 21/Feb. 6/Feb. 10/April 7/April 14/April 21/April 29/May 6/May 12/May 19/May 26/June 2/June 10/June 16/June 24/June 30/July 8/Aug. 4

- - - - -

News from the Big Guys
ESPN/ College Football News Wire
Sports Illustrated
CBS Sportsline
USA Today
Opinion: Columnists and bloggers
Around the Oval (Ohio State)
Badger Sports (Wisconsin)
The Blue-Gray Sky (Notre Dame)
Block U (Utah)
BoiFromTroy (Southern Cal)
Bruins Nation (UCLA)
Burnt Orange Nation (Texas)
The Corporate Headquarters of the San Antonio Gunslingers
Dave Sez (Virginia)
Dawg Sports (Georgia)
ESPN: Ivan Maisel/Pat Forde
Every Day Should Be Saturday (Florida)
FOX: Pete Fiutak
Golden Tornado (Georgia Tech)
Heisman Pundit
I'm a Realist (Georgia)
Journalism is for Rock Stars (Alabama)
Mark May Be Wrong
MDG CFB (Fresno State)
Mountain Lair (West Virginia)
MGOBlog (Michigan)
Orange::44 (Syracuse)
Paradigm Blog (Michigan)
Paul Westerdawg (Georgia)
Pitch Right (Navy)
Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer (Alabammer)
Section Six
Sexy Results (Virginia)
SI: Stewart Mandel/John Walters
Sporting Fools (Florida State)
Straight Bangin' (Michigan)
Texas A&M and Baseball, In No Particular Order (Texas A&M)
The 614 (Ohio State)
The House That Rock Built (Notre Dame)
The Sporting Gnomes (Clemson)
Tiger Pundit (Clemson)
We Must Ignite This Couch (West Virginia)
The Wizard of Odds

- - - - -
The Blog Poll

- - - - -

College Football Data Warehouse
College Football Research Center
College Football News
Football Commentary

Tackles For Loss
Field Goals
Kickoff Returns
Punt Returns
Rushing Offense
Passing Offense
Total Offense
Scoring Offense
Rushing Defense
Passing Defense
Total Defense
Scoring Defense
Turnover Margin

- - - - -
Past Seasons
Thursday Morning Quarterback
Sept. 29/Oct. 6/Oct. 20/Oct. 27/Nov. 3/Nov. 10/Nov. 17/Nov. 24/Dec. 1
Sunday Morning Quarterback
Oct. 2/Oct. 23/Oct. 30/Nov. 6/Nov. 13/Nov. 27
Stat Relevance Watch
Part One/Part Two/Part Three
SMQ Bowl Blitz
New Orleans/GMAC/Las Vegas/Poinsettia/Motor City

SMQ's [Hurricane-Abbreviated] 2005 Preview
Top 25 Countdown/Methodology
All-America Team