BOULDER — More than 100 sets of eyes are staring back at Brenda Tracy. It’s silent. Uncomfortable. But this is where she wants to be: Standing before the University of Colorado football team, its coaches, staff and administrators, to recount the worst night of her life.
Players shift in their seats with each graphic detail. How she drifted in and out of consciousness. How she said no, and how they wouldn’t stop. It’s one thing to learn about the impact of sexual violence in a study. It’s entirely another hearing it straight from the victim.
“It kind of settles in their heart,” said Tracy, who has visited more than 30 campuses across the country since 2015, each time reopening wounds to begin a dialogue in athletic departments and locker rooms in hopes of changing a culture that’s scarred college sports — at a time when CU must do soul searching on the issue.
The results of a June 2017 external probe into CU’s handling of domestic violence accusations against now former assistant football coach Joe Tumpkin yielded at 10-day suspension for university chancellor Phil DiStefano, while head coach Mike MacIntyre and athletic director Rick George were both reprimanded and ordered to donate $100,000 toward advocacy groups and care for victims.
George released a statement that called for “necessary changes” at CU to “support a culture of values and respect and integrity. We must do better — and we will.” In his office last week during a sit-down interview with The Denver Post, George was adamant those discussions are taking place, thanks in large to the woman bearing her soul at the front of the room.
“She didn’t ever look at a note,”…
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