Brian Cabral took over as interim head football coach at Colorado yesterday, pending the outcome of an investigation into a recruiting scandal that includes allegations of rape.
Cabral replaces Gary Barnett, who was placed on paid leave Wednesday night for criticizing the ability of former player Katie Hnida after she said she had been raped by a teammate in 2000. He said she was "not only a girl, she was terrible," a comment university officials said was unacceptable given the seriousness of her allegation.
Cabral played at Colorado and has been an assistant for 15 years. He was promoted to assistant head coach in 1999, shortly after Barnett was hired.
Cabral said he wanted to pull the team back together and "win back the confidence of the university, the community, the alumni [and] former players in our program."
"I believe our players possess the character we recruited them for," he said.
The recruiting investigation is scheduled to be completed by April 30. Cabral made it clear he considers his job temporary and expects Barnett to be reinstated.
"I have no doubt when all is said and all is done, we'll find coach Barnett to be a man of character," he said.
The football program is in the midst of a scandal that has grown over the past month, with numerous accusations involving sexual assaults, binge drinking, and strippers. In all, seven women have accused football players or recruits of rape since 1997. "We need resolution of these charges, we need the work of the committee to go forward and go forward promptly," athletic director Dick Tharp said in announcing Cabral's appointment.
Williams going pro?
Southern California's Mike Williams, regarded as one of the top receivers in the country, will enter the NFL draft, forgoing his remaining two years of college eligibility, according to ESPN.com. Williams is the first underclassman to enter the draft since the NFL was forced to alter its eligibility rules by the Maurice Clarett case. Williams has not filed the required paperwork yet, and will discuss his decision with his parents over the weekend. In two seasons at USC, Williams has 176 receptions for 2,570 yards and 30 touchdowns.