Colorado Football Cracks Down on Misbehavior

Department will hire a director of "student-athletes wellness" and has set up accountability teams.

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In the past 15 months, 13 current or recent University of Colorado football players have gotten into trouble with the law, the Denver Post reports. In response, the athletic director and coach are " taking a proactive approach rather than sit back" and plan to hire what has been called a director of "student-athletes wellness." Around a month ago, coach Dan Hawkins also established accountability teams, where nine nine-man groups were formed. If one player misbehaves, the entire team is punished.

The results so far?

"I'm getting a lot more texts from players making sure I'm in class, making sure I'm taking care of this and this and this, which helps a lot," said freshman receiver Markques Simas, who was academically ineligible this season. "Now you're not thinking, 'OK, I'm just going to miss this class.' Now you're worried about 10, 12 other guys."

Hawkins replaced the infamously scandal-ridden Gary Barnett in 2005 but has only recently taken serious action against misbehaving players. While problems with student athletes are not unique to CU, the school has had a disproportionately large number of recent off-field incidents when compared with its peers. In the same time frame, Colorado State has had one incident, and the University of Wyoming has had zero.

Hawkins has "brought the wood," as he calls it, to several players. Good players, too. He booted junior linebacker Jake Duren after his arrest for smashing a car window. He suspended Ethan Adkins, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman and SuperPrep All-American, after a DUI citation Sept. 1. Hawkins nearly booted tight end Riar Geer after his involvement in a fight that resulted in a two-game suspension.

The university's Office of Judicial Affairs stepped in and suspended linebacker Michael Sipili and freshman linebacker Lynn Katoa, a Parade All-American, for a year over separate fighting incidents.

Also, check out the Post's "Hall of Shame" at the bottom of the story.