Introducing the 2012-2013 Editorial staff and your new Editor in Chief

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May 062012
 
Authors: Greg Mees

This marks the first newspaper in my tenure as editor in chief. But it also marks my last until we return from winter break in January.

I have been given the opportunity of a lifetime to move to Boston for six months and intern as a designer for The Boston Globe. It’s an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up, but it’s also bittersweet.

There is almost nothing that I love more than this newspaper. I have worked my way up on the visual side from a designer to the visual managing editor. So, stepping away for a semester is going to be difficult, but it’s something that I need to do.

I have full faith and confidence in the editorial board and staff that I have hired to lead the Collegian next year. All of the staff members are dedicated to telling the stories of the the CSU community and ensuring this paper provides a voice for students and our campus.

With that, I’m excited to introduce them.

Allison Sylte: Editor in Chief-elect for fall 2012

Ali is a senior journalism major and will be filling in for me while I’m away in Boston. During the past year, she has worked as the content managing editor for the Collegian and I would not feel comfortable leaving the paper in the hands of anyone else. I’m excited to see what she’ll do with the paper and know that anything that comes her way, she will be able to handle.

Matt Miller: Content Managing Editor

Matt is a senior journalism major and has worked at the paper long enough to drive him slowly insane (it only took three years). Matt will be in charge of overseeing all of the day-to-day content and operations of the paper. He has served as both the entertainment editor and news editor in his time here.

Hunter Thompson: Visual Managing Editor

Hunter is a junior computer information systems major and a talented photographer and graphic designer. He’s my replacement as the VME and will be leading the visual team this year while also directly overseeing the photo desk. There isn’t a more talented person to take over the role and I’m excited to see the places that this paper’s visuals will go under his command.

Andrew Carrera: News Editor

Andrew is an international studies major and will be shifting into this role after being a senior reporter for the past year. He has been at the paper for two years overall covering everything from City Council to ASCSU to the new on-campus stadium proposal.

Elisabeth Willner: News Editor

Elisabeth is a senior majoring in journalism and French. She has worked at the paper as a staff writer for the past year. Her dedication and attention to detail are two things that are going to help our coverage of CSU and Fort Collins grow.

Cris Tiller: Sports Editor

Cris is returning as the sports editor for the second year now. He has been with the paper for two years working entirely on the sports desk.

Nic Turiciano: Entertainment Editor

Nic is a senior journalism major. He has written for the entertainment desk for two years and is joining the staff from most recently working as the local director at KCSU.

Kris Lawan: Design Editor

Kris joined us in January working most directly with me on the design desk. He was hired as the chief designer in March and is ready to take on the presentation of the paper. After being on the design desk for three years, I am so happy that I have found someone who I can trust to carry out our style and present stories in a way that are visually appealing and interesting.

Kevin Jensen: Copy Chief & Editorials Editor

Kevin began as a copy editor earlier this year. With his promotion, he will be dedicated to ensuring that typos and errors are non-existent in the newspaper.

Now with the introductions complete, I just wanted to say how excited I am to take on this role, even if it’s just for a short time. Any time that any community member has feedback or concerns, I would encourage them to speak out and send me an email to editor@collegian.com.

Editor in Chief Greg Mees is a junior journalism major. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com. Follow him on Twitter @meesgreg.

What we do at the Collegian, we do for the CSU community

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May 062012
 
Authors: Allison Sylte

Remember how last week I wrote a farewell column? Well… now I feel like kind of a fool.

I didn’t expect to be your fall editor in chief, but somehow, here I am. I’ve spent the past two years with the Collegian, dividing my time between reporting, news-editing, content-managing and neglecting my classes.

I’ve watched some amazing coverage by our staff this past school year in wake of story after story about upheaval in our athletics department, and I’ve watched our devoted staff of editors, reporters, photographers and designers spend hours trying to create the ultimate professional product. I’ve also watched as, these past few weeks, we went from just writing the news to actually being the news, all because of a mistake I take a lot of the blame for.

I’ve watched some pretty amazing stuff during my time at the Collegian, and hopefully during my tenure as editor in chief, we can continue the legacy that more than 100 years of editors have built, and hopefully build on it.

I hope that we don’t just improve as a newspaper in a technical way, but also in a way that’s far harder to quantify: I hope that we genuinely offer some reflection and insight into what, exactly, makes CSU the place that we all know and (usually) love.

After all, at the end of the day, we exist for one purpose: to serve the diverse, multi-faceted and, for the most part, extraordinary community here at this university. We’ve got some ridiculously devoted people on our staff to tell some of those stories, but I’m not going to claim that we’ve been remotely perfect in making our coverage as diverse as possible.

And that’s where you, the readers, come in.

This is your paper, and everything we do, we do for you. Do you think we should write a feature on that cool guy who works in your dining hall? Tell us about him. Do you think the CSU Police Department mistreated you on a traffic stop, or that one of your professors is abusing their power? We need to know about it.

Did your student organization do something great? Shoot us an email. Is there something that you’re just curious about on this campus? Please, let us know.

And if you ever feel like we’re misrepresenting people on this campus, or passing unfair judgement, or publishing things that seem offensive or make you feel attacked, don’t ever hesitate to tell us.

The reason why this product exists is to serve you. It’s not about the 10 editors sitting in a basement, it’s about the other 29,990 students milling around this campus every day, all with a unique story and a unique perspective.

But we can’t serve our community unless our community is involved in our process. And that’s why you need to contact us. Send us a tweet (@RMCollegian), write on our Facebook wall, send us emails or drop us a line on our comment board — heck, send us a telegram or snail-mail if you want to –– I can’t emphasize enough how much what you say matters to our process.

And if you’re feeling crazy, walk into our office. Find me on campus. You can’t miss me: I’m tall, awkward and have red hair.

And if you want to have even more of an ownership in what we do, there’s no better way than to get involved. We’re constantly hiring columnists, reporters, photographers and news designers. We’re always looking for guest columns, and love (or hate.. but preferably love) letters to the editor.

I don’t care if you’re a liberal arts major, studying veterinary medicine or an engineering major, if you love everything that the Collegian does or absolutely hate the useless rag we produce: you’re more than welcome to get involved, and try to contribute to this product and to the dialogue that we hopefully create within our university, and to make us better.

I’ll end with a final thought: I love everything about CSU, from Tony Frank’s obnoxiously long emails to the fact that our rec center looks like Pride Rock, from how great it is to do homework at the Oval to how perpetually awful the hallways in Eddy smell.

I’m glad that next year, I’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a semester trying to tell the stories on this campus, and to serve the amazing community that I’m still stunned I get to call myself a part of.

Despite some of the mistakes we’ve made in the past year, I vow to do things right. Because at the end of the day, everything we do, we do for you.

And I’ll make sure that we fulfill that promise.

_Editor in Chief-elect Allison Sylte is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter@AllisonSylte.

_

Colorado State students strip for charity

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May 062012
 
Authors: Erik Carman

Hundreds of students gathered in the Lory Student Center Plaza at 9 p.m. May 4, but they weren’t on their way to class. They were there to strip off their clothes in what may have been one of the largest Undie Run events in school history.

“I’ve never seen people so enthusiastic to take off their clothes in public,” said freshman liberal arts major Savannah McCormick, who came with friends to see the event.

Senior Criminal Justice major Stephen Woodruff, who orchestrated this year’s Undie Run through Facebook, said online confirmations had peaked between 1,800 and 2,000.

“There was at least 1,800 people here,” said freshman health and exercise science major Sarah Stamper. “It was un-real.”

Woodruff, who had created the Facebook event only a few weeks prior, said he and friends worked in collaboration with the Homeless Awareness team here at CSU to create the annual charitable event.

“I hadn’t heard anything about it this year,” Woodruff said. “So I decided to just do it myself.”

Woodruff said he and some friends spent roughly two hours gathering the clothes gathered by Undie-Runners, which numbered to about “six and a half truckloads,” Woodruff said.

“At first we were just going to donate them to Goodwill,” Woodruff said. “But then a friend of mine contacted someone from CSU’s Homeless Awareness Team.”

That someone was senior construction management major and HAT President Jordan Traynel, who has stored the thousands of clothing articles in his garage since Friday night.

“Myself and other Homeless Awareness members have been bagging the clothes,” Traynel said. “We’ll then give them to (the organization) Homeless Gear.”

Traynel said that Homeless Gear, an organization with locations across the state, would hold an event later in the month where the clothes would be distributed to the homeless community.

“Every month they have an event where the homeless can come and pick through what clothes they would like,” Traynel said.

And for returning Undie-Runners, this year’s event did not disappoint.

“There were more people this year,” said senior Natural Resources major and veteran Undie-Runner Ike Manobla.

Manobla was joined by senior construction management major Wesley O’Rourke, who also expressed his satisfaction with the event.

“It’s a good fundraiser,” O’Rourke said.

But for philanthropists like Traynel, the event meant more than just a good time.

“It’s really rewarding to see a bunch of college students going out of their way to make a fun experience that gives back to the community,” Traynel said._

Collegian writer Erik Carman can be reached at news@collegian.com
_

-An estimated 2,000 people were in attendance at this year’s Undie Run
-Event took place on the plaza at 9 p.m. on May 4
-All proceeds will go to Homeless Gear, which will distribute clothing to local community

 Posted by at 3:33 pm

Colorado State made the right decision expelling three football players involved in April 6 fight

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May 062012
 
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

On May 4 CSU’s Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services completed its investigation and decided to expel the three football players involved in the April 6 fight and one other student.

One of the players, Nordly Capi, feels the media coverage resulted in his expulsion, not the incidents of the fight itself, in order to save face. Regardless of the university’s motivation for expelling the three players, it was the correct decision.

Their actions that night did not reflect the character and expectations the university has for every member of its community. As football players, whether they like it or not, they have been given the responsibility to represent the community on a scale others cannot and the trust of the community to do this admirably. They betrayed that trust by breaking the law and the student code of conduct.

Some will agree with Capi and see this decision as a public relations ploy. But consider the damage caused in the aftermath of the fight. Their decisions that night embarrassed fellow student-athletes, the athletic department and the university as a whole. Allowing them to remain at CSU would have sent the wrong message about what the school expects from its students and the seriousness of their actions.

CSU has made it very clear that violating the student code of conduct is a severe offense and carries an equally severe punishment. The university showed the community such actions will not go unpunished and they should be applauded for making the correct decision.

 Posted by at 3:31 pm

Ride the Rockies Rolling into Old Town

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May 062012
 
Authors: Jason Pohl

More than 2,000 bike tourists hanging out at a brewery during the early Fort Collins summer –– can it get any better than that?

Organizers of Colorado’s most famous and world renowned bike tour, Ride the Rockies, don’t think it can and have picked Old Town as the final destination for the 442-mile, seven-day trip for the first time in 19 years.

The adventure brings cyclists over five mountain passes and to small towns peppered throughout the mountains and is slated for June 9-15.

It will wrap up outside of Fort Collins’ landmark Odell Brewing company.

“The access in Fort Collins with all the bike lanes and paths and mapping is stupendous,” said Charlie Weinbeck, director of the Fort Collins Cycling Festival and long-time cycling advocate.

Each August the Fort Collins Cycling Festival has grown with the emerging culture in the city, and Weinbeck attributes this to a growing outreach from the city. Having Ride the Rockies end here, he said, is a signal of that growth.

“They’re gonna have a great time when they get here,” he said.

Now in its 27th year, Ride the Rockies has grown from a few riders to an internationally recognized event that has been featured on world-wide television broadcasts and in countless magazines. The event has even had to implement a lottery system in choosing who can ride because of the overwhelming demand.

Nearly 4,000 applications are received annually.

This year’s route begins in Gunnison and leads participants and hundreds of volunteers through towns including Carbondale, Leadville, Grandby and Estes Park before screaming down the Thompson Canyon and into the Fort Collins area. Support vans carry camping gear, clothing and food to each night’s stop.

Participants will climb nearly 25,000 feet in elevation before all is said and done, including a traverse along Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

“This year we wanted to combine six iconic rides into one rare and beautiful week of cycling,” said Chandler Smith, the tour director, in a news release. “Each day is worthwhile all by itself. Together, they make for one wild ride.”

The week-long tour is sponsored by the Denver Post and Wells Fargo. It is estimated to bring in upward of $1.5 million of tourism revenue to the state and small towns along the route.

“When they come into town, they’re gonna see a ton of great cycling culture,” Weinbeck said. “Old town is about as cool as it gets. It’s just exciting to see more people getting aware of cycling.”
_
Former Senior Reporter Jason Pohl is setting off on his own 3-month bike tour from Washington State to Maine May 19. Follow him online at www.rediscover-reality.com or at news@collegian.com._

 Posted by at 3:30 pm

New Colorado State student-fan club looks to bring the 'Ruckus'

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May 062012
 
Authors: Kevin Lytle

At San Diego State, “The Show” has become as famous as the teams it cheers.

“The Show” is the student section that has made the “I believe” chant famous as they belt it out just before the tip-off of every basketball game. Their noise and energy has become a symbol for how a student section should work at a university’s athletic events.

Tim Brogdon, the director of student services in ASCSU, has seen what “The Show” does, and the up-and-down quality of CSU’s student sections, and decided to do something about it.

He created Ram Ruckus, a student fan group he intends on becoming the catalyst to help CSU sports “Defend the Fort.”

“If we can start that idea of ‘this is what you do, this is how it works at CSU’, you join this group, it will hopefully jump start this idea of ‘ok, this is the thing to do,’” Brogdon said.

With Brogdon’s proposal for the group, and the backing of ASCSU, the athletic department jumped on board to connect with Ram Ruckus in hopes of matching “The Show,” or doing better.

“That’s obviously our pattern, that’s our model, but we want to be bigger and better than San Diego State,” said Gary Ozzello, the senior associate director of athletics.

While the group isn’t fully organized yet, and still doesn’t have a website, some of the main details are in place. Members would pay a $25 fee per school year. That fee would get, along with giveaways like T-shirts, prime seating to all athletic events. At all CSU games, a Ram Ruckus section would be carved out in a prime area for members to sit in.

Ozzello also said he hopes that members of the group would get chances to win trips to NCAA Tournaments and bowl games when CSU is involved.

One key aspect for both Brogdon and the athletic department is that the group will support all CSU sports, not just the big ones. Brogdon envisions a point system where members earn more points for going to a less supported teams game, like water polo or softball, and going to football or men’s basketball games wouldn’t earn as many points. Those points can then be used to buy gear or possibly be used at businesses in town that are connected with Ram Ruckus.

“Our student athletes, regardless of the sport, are important to us and we want to make them feel appreciated,” Ozzello said. “One of the biggest things that we all recognize in college athletics, when you have a student presence, it changes the entire environment and enhances the home court or home field advantage. That’s what we want to provide our coaches and our student athletes.”

Ozzello thinks that, unlike other groups that have been created, this one will stick because of the work of Brogdon and the backing of ASCSU.

Brogdon is graduating this week, and doesn’t know where he will work, but insists that he is building the infrastructure that will ensure Ram Ruckus happens and achieves his goal.

“Really, right now, the way we’re setting this up logistically, it seems to me that we can only be successful,” Brogdon said.

Former Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Lytle can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

What: New student fan group to support CSU athletics
Goals: Make student section cohesive, organized, loud
Cost: $25/school year
Not open for membership yet, but emails may be sent to ramruckus@gmail.com

 Posted by at 3:28 pm

Goodbye to my home at CSU, the Collegian

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May 062012
 
Authors: Kevin Lytle

I think college is all about finding a home, literally and figuratively. When I moved to Fort Collins, it quickly became a place that I could call home, but finding a comfort zone in what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go took much longer.

For the early part of my college career I cruised along through my classes in a major I liked, but didn’t love. I was working toward a degree in English, but I wasn’t getting any closer to finding a career.

Then, finally, as I neared the conclusion of that degree, I figured out that reporting was what I wanted to do. That finally got me on the right path. I added a journalism major, but much more importantly, I joined the Collegian and found my home.

Two years later I can say without a doubt that working at the Collegian is one of the best things that has happened to me. Professionally, the paper has given me the tools necessary to be ready for a career in the field.

I have had the fortune of covering some amazing games, the top ones being volleyball’s upset of Nebraska and the men’s basketball team’s defeats of three top-25 teams at Moby Arena, as well as being at the Mountain West and NCAA Tournaments.

While it has been fun being at all these big games, I’ve also learned how to work under the pressure and time crunch that is brought along with them. That experience will serve me well in the future.

So here is my pitch to students: if you seriously want to be a journalist, come work in student media. There is no other way to be ready for the journalism world than to have the real-life experience that you get here. I’m sorry to my journalism professors, but there is no class work that can make you ready to be a journalist. You have to actually go do it.

While the Collegian has been key for my professional development, it’s the people I work with who have made it feel like home. It’s only been this past year I really was in the newsroom a lot and got to know the people I work with.

They are truly an amazing group. There is so much energy and drive in that newsroom, it’s something to behold. I don’t want to list everyone off and have this start reading like roll call, but you guys know who you are.

I’ve had so much fun getting to know you all and hanging out with you and having totally absurd, but fun, conversations with you. You guys are great people and I can’t wait to see where you all go in life and I plan on keeping our friendships going, even as we spread across the country.

If you’ll bear with me, there are a few people I need to thank by name. Mom, Dad, Marc and Amy have always been there to help and support me with anything I need. They never question what I’m doing. They just make sure they give me the tools to succeed. I know that I am blessed to have such a loving, close-knit family.

Kelsey, while you’re not technically family, you might as well be. I couldn’t be luckier to have met my best friend on our first day of college. I’ll never be able to thank you enough for everything you do, I couldn’t have made it to where I am without you.

A last thank you goes to my readers. I sincerely appreciate all of you that read my work daily. Also, I’ve created a bit of a relationship with some of you through Twitter and my live chats. I can’t tell you how much more enjoyable it makes it to have your interaction while covering these games. It is greatly appreciated. I hope that I have been able to make your experience as a fan just a little better.

With that, my Collegian career is over. Thank you everyone. It’s been a remarkable ride and something I will never forget.

Kevin Lytle is now the former Assistant Sports Editor. He appreciates his readers and hopes they stay in touch on Twitter by following @kevin_lytle.

 Posted by at 3:25 pm

Colorado State student in critical condition after failed pool dive

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May 062012
 
Authors: Elisabeth Willner

A CSU student is in critical condition after a leap from the roof of a building at Ram’s Village on the afternoon of May 5.

The student, who 9News identified as sophomore wildlife and conservation biology major Ian Smith, attempted to dive from a roof into the apartment complex’s pool, but missed and hit the side.

Witnesses say that many of the pool-goers had been drinking, although it could not be confirmed if Smith was drunk at the time of the accident.

“He slammed the concrete and then kind of slid into the pool, obviously hurting,” said Wes Hawes, a senior applied computing technology major who witnessed the accident.

“If you didn’t see it happen, you heard it happen,” Hawes said.

Smith jumped about 30 feet, according to Captain Patrick Love, a spokesman for the Poudre Fire Authority.

9News reported that Smith broke his ankles, heels and some of his vertebrae from the fall. He is now being treated at the Medical Center of the Rockies.

Witnesses say that before Smith jumped, many of the crowd members attempted to discourage him with hand signals and shouts of “don’t do it.”

“I don’t know if up there it seemed like a better idea,” Hawes said, “but from the pool it did not seem like a good idea to try something like that.”

The Ram’s Village pool recently opened for the season. Although no lifeguards monitor the pool, posted rules specify that no running or jumping is allowed.

Alex Ryan, a resident of Ram’s Village who witnessed the accident, said that he has seen someone attempt to jump off of balconies into the pool before, but that people generally know better.

He also added that often the pool-goers who cause trouble are visitors and not residents of Ram’s Village.

“We have quite a peaceful community that don’t get drunk and don’t get crazy,” said Ryan.

At press time, it could not be confirmed whether Smith was a resident of Ram’s Village.

Neither Smith’s family or Ram’s Village could not be reached for comment.

News Editor Elisabeth Willner can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 12:26 pm

CSU football player said media attention of April 6 fight led to expulsion decision

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May 042012
 
Authors: Andrew Carrera, Elisabeth Willner

Nordly Capi, one of the three CSU football players expelled from the university for involvement in an April 6 fight, believes it was media attention that led to this decision.

“I mostly feel like we’ve been mistreated,” Capi said. “It was an unfair decision and I was disappointed by the way the university handled the whole decision.”

Capi along with his teammates, Mike Orakpo and Colton Paulhus, –– who have also been expelled –– were charged with disorderly conduct on April 26. CSU freshmen Danny Gocha, who was involved with the fight, was also charged with disorderly conduct.

According to the Associated Press, a fourth student has also been expelled, however the university has not confirmed if Gocha is the fourth expelled student.

Capi said the disorderly conduct charges aren’t why he and his teammates were kicked out of the university. During his first Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services conduct hearing, he said it was made clear that officials were trying to protect the campus’ image. The expelled students have until May 15 to appeal the decision.

“(CRSCS Director Craig Chesson) said that it’s hard to admit me back into the university because of the media,” Capi said.

The case has received extensive coverage from 9News, Fox 31, the Fort Collins Coloradoan, Loveland Reporter-Herald, Washington Post, Associated Press and Collegian.

While university spokesman Mike Hooker couldn’t comment on the specifics of the students’ cases, he denied Capi’s allegation.

“Definitely the outcome of this judicial process has nothing to do with media attention or anything of that sort,” he said, emphasizing the significance of the police report in CRSCS’s decision.

However, the amount of public interest in the case did factor into the university’s decision to release that the students had been expelled, according to Dean of Students Jody Donovan.

Federal privacy laws forbid disclosing disciplinary records, except in cases where a student is an alleged perpetrator of any violent crime.

“Obviously, I will try and appeal just like I know my fellow teammates will,” Capi said. “ … It’s hard when (the university) sends an email to the whole student body … ”

The CRSCS handed down the expulsion, their most severe sanction, after reviewing information provided by Fort Collins Police Services about the fight.

Throughout their investigation, for example, they found that some of the players lied to police officers about their whereabouts during and leading up to the altercation, according to a 90-page report released on April 26.

Officers also found a marijuana pipe, a box for a kit used to skew the results of a marijuana drug test, bloody clothing and “unlabeled vials with a clear liquid inside a small refrigerator… along with syringes and alcohol swabs” inside Paulhus and Orakpo’s home, according to the report.

“As an (athletics director), I want to make it absolutely clear that we have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior by our student athletes,” said Jack Graham, CSU athletics director in an email to the campus community. “ … I cannot guarantee that our student-athletes will not use illegal substances, whether recreational or performance enhancing –– I wish I could. I can tell you, however, that I am committed, as are all of our coaches and Athletic Department staff, to drug-free athletics and athletes.”

News Editors Andrew Carrera and Elisabeth Willner can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 8:32 am

CSU football players involved in fight expelled, statement from Jack Graham

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May 042012
 
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

Below is a email from Athletic Director Jack Graham announcing that Nordly Capi, Mike Orakpo and Colton Paulhus, three football players involved in an off-campus fight, have been expelled.

To the CSU Community:

Recent events involving a few of our football players are disturbing
and unacceptable. It is important you hear personally from me about
the standards to which we hold our student-athletes.

First, an update. As has been widely reported already, there was an
off-campus fight a couple of weeks ago between a group of CSU
football players and some other CSU students in which the level of
violence exerted by the players was beyond anything that could be
considered reasonable. As a result, three of our players have been
charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

As AD, I want to make it absolutely clear that we have zero
tolerance for this kind of behavior by our student athletes. Our
football coaches led by Coach McElwain cooperated fully with the
police investigation and we acted immediately to suspend the players
from the team indefinitely—a suspension that is now permanent. The
resulting criminal charges were determined by the Larimer County
District Attorney based on an investigation by the Fort Collins
Police. While some of you have expressed concern to me that the
charges don’t seem appropriate, I can only refer those concerns to
the DA.

What I can say from the CSU perspective is that these players are
also subject to the CSU Student Conduct process, which assesses
whether they have violated the student code of conduct. Independent
of any criminal charges, violations of the student conduct code can
lead to sanctions up to and including expulsion from the university,
depending on the severity of the offense and whether it is part of a
pattern of behavior. The Department of Athletics is fully supportive
of the University’s processes for addressing this type of incident,
and while the results of such processes are typically not public,
there is an exception when the allegations concern violence,
including assault offenses. For that reason, I am able to report now
that players Mike Orakpo, Nordly Capi, and Colton Paulhus have been
expelled from Colorado State, effective Monday May 7. Although
there is an appeal process, expulsion in our Student Conduct Code
means permanently removed from the University (they have been
prohibited from coming on campus since the incident occurred).

I also want to address another disturbing finding in the Fort
Collins Police report that steroids and marijuana paraphernalia were
found in the residences of two of the players. I cannot guarantee
that our student-athletes will not use illegal substances, whether
recreational or performance enhancing—I wish I could. I can tell
you, however, that I am committed, as are all of our coaches and
Athletic Department staff, to drug-free athletics and athletes.

All of our student-athletes are subject to year-round mandatory and
random drug testing by the NCAA. They conduct tests on
approximately 10% of our student-athletes between one and three
times annually. Immediately after I began my work as Athletic
Director, I took steps to implement additional biweekly tests
conducted by CSU that involve about 8% of our athletes in each
testing session, which is well above the norm relative to other
universities. The consequences for testing positive to drugs or to
masking agents (we test for that too) are harsh. It is unlikely an
athlete will survive at Colorado State if he/she chooses to take
drugs, and I can promise you that such behavior will in no way be
tolerated or abetted.

With all these issues coming up at this time, I want to restate very
clearly that CSU Athletics is committed to upholding the highest
ethical standards in all aspects of our competition. Our coaches –
all of them – are committed to recruiting student-athletes who:

(i) Have strong character;

(ii) Have academic capabilities that give us high confidence they
will succeed and graduate; and

(iii) Are great athletes.

We make decisions to offer scholarships in that order. An athlete
who does not clear our character and academic standards, regardless
of their athleticism, will not be offered a scholarship.

We want to win at Colorado State – we will win at Colorado State –
but not at any cost. There are very clear ethical lines that we will
always honor.

On April 22, all student-athletes, coaches and members of the
Athletic Department met with me to discuss the expectations we have
of each other with regard to behavior and citizenship. We agree we
must be held to a higher standard because we are highly visible
representatives of our University. It is essential that we
represent Colorado State as great people, great students and great
athletes.

Virtually every student-athlete and coach is horrified, angry and
embarrassed by the actions of these few. With me, our student-
athletes and coaches have accepted responsibility for these actions
and for doing all we can to root out this behavior to the extent it
may still exist.

There is another aspect to this story that was highlighted in the
police report but not mentioned in the media accounts: Two of our
other players not only attempted to break up the fight but
apologized to the other students at the scene and refused to get
back in the car with the players who were involved in the fight.
They were straight-forward with their coaches and the police about
what happened despite considerable peer pressure to behave
otherwise. Just as we may want to condemn the students involved in
the fight, we also need to acknowledge and give credit to those who
made the right choices under very tense circumstances. It is these
students who set the standard for CSU athletics, and these are the
students who have earned and deserve our support.

You have my word our athletes will continue to be held accountable
to represent our University in ways that always make us proud that
we are Colorado State University Rams.

 Posted by at 8:08 am