Statement from the Board of Governors of the CSU System on CSU Athletics

Recently, there have been many allegations surrounding the culture within the Department of Athletics at Colorado State University. We respect the experiences of individual student-athletes, and our commitment to student safety is unambiguous. We believe the Department of Athletics is aligned with these views and that the facts paint a rather different picture of the culture of the Department of Athletics than what has been alleged. We further respect the integrity of the university-wide processes in place to investigate and adjudicate any allegations and complaints. Based on consistent independent and internal assessment over many years, these processes are working well and as intended. 

  • Colorado State University is only 1 of 7 universities in the nation at the Division I level never to have had a major NCAA infraction. 
  • CSU has repeatedly demonstrated a commitment to be self-assessing and always striving to improve. 
    • In 2011, there was an external audit of Title IX compliance within the Athletic Department.
    • In 2018, there was an external review of CSU Title IX policy and practices in order to improve the overall performance of CSU’s Title IX structure, which involved representatives from numerous CSU offices and departments, including the Office of Support and Safety Assessment, the Student Resolution Center, Human Resources, OEO, Student Legal Services, Student Case Management and Referral Coordination, the Colorado State University Police Department, Residence Life, the Women and Gender Advocacy Center, and the Dean of Students. President McConnell has been active in building upon and implementing the recommendations of this report since her arrival, including taking the step of elevating Title IX compliance to a vice presidential level.
    • In 2020, there was an independent investigation of allegations of COVID-19 compliance breaches within CSU Athletics.
    • In 2020, there was an independent investigation of allegations of racial inequities within CSU Athletics.
  • In none of the above reviews or investigations were systemic abnormalities identified. 
  • In all the above reviews and investigations, modest suggestions for process improvements were made and have been acted upon with seriousness and a commitment to continuous improvement. 
  • When complaints arise within the Department of Athletics, they are reported to, evaluated and adjudicated by the appropriate arm of the University’s investigative and disciplinary structures: the Office of Equal Opportunity, the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity, Human Resources and/or the Student Resolution Center; not by the Department of Athletics. Each case is thoroughly reviewed, with priority placed on student safety and well-being. A variety of individual privacy laws and policies prevent the University from discussing these investigations and subsequent resolutions publicly, with the media, and they even limit certain internal disclosures. 

Against this backdrop, calls for major changes within the Athletic Department leadership and challenges to the integrity of University leadership are not fully informed and unwarranted. 

If new issues or concerns arise, we encourage people to bring them forward through the processes that exist. We are confident that the University will, as always, continue to strive to improve in all areas of operations, and we’re confident that when mistakes are made, they will be rapidly corrected. We have the utmost confidence in the senior leadership of our university and of our athletic department. This confidence is based firmly on the facts noted above, which drive our belief in the integrity of our people and processes. 

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