September 15, 2004

Cougs-Buffs Part 2

What begins as an additional post about the WSU-CU game and quickly degenerates into why I hate Gary Barnett.

What really made the game galling for me was the opponent. I really, really hate Colorado. I didn’t like them before this mess started, but now I feel as they represent everything that’s wrong with college sports. Let’s recap shall we? Gary Barnett leads Northwestern to the Rose Bowl; accomplishing what many thought was impossible. He sticks with the Wildcats for a couple years beyond that, then jumps to Colorado (his dream job) after Rick Neuheisel heads to Washington. He doesn’t bother to tell his players, but does try to steer a couple of NW recruits to Boulder. Once ensconced on the CU campus, he proceeds to berate Neuheisel for doing… exactly what he did, leaving without tell his players and trying to re-recruit players to UW. Class fellow this Gary Barnett is. Inexplicably, he gets away with this shameless hypocrisy, mostly because Colorado was sick of Neuheisel and his perceived shadiness. Moreover, Barnett represented a tie to Bill McCartney, former CU coach, founder of the Promise Keepers and fellow shamelessly self-righteous asshat.

Anyway, Our Boy Gary has a couple lousy years, after a foolish promise to return CU to glory. He then catches lightning a bottle and leads the Buffs to a Big 12 championship, an epic destruction of arch-rival Nebraska, and yet another New Years Day Bowl loss. Last year though, it all starts to come apart. Nasty allegations of alcohol and drug filled parties for possible recruits. Then more ugly allegations of free hookers for some recruits, presumably only the good ones get those. Then we get the topper. Former Buffalo kicker Katie Hnida, one of only three women to suit up for a NCAA Division 1 football game, alleges that she was repeatedly harassed, abused and eventually raped by a fellow CU football player. To make matters worse, Hnida claims that Barnett was aware of this, that she had repeatedly brought it to his attention, and that he did nothing to stop it, but everything possible to cover it up. When Our Boy Gary is asked about the allegations, he has three real options as I see it. He can:

-Have a mea culpa moment, confess to what happened, apologize, then resign and try to work on restoring his dignity and reputations.

-Deny that he knew about what happened, promise a vigorous investigation and to punish all players involved.

-Deny all allegations made by Katie Hnida, tell everyone she was a liar or possibly insane, and stand by the character and conduct of his players.

Any of these three is okay, maybe the last is distasteful, but the important thing is this: somewhere there is the truth. Instead, Our Boy Gary gives a rambling explanation that begins with the classic phrase, “Well, Katie wasn’t a very good kicker.”

So Gary, what you are saying here is that her being a lousy player is what lead to her being harassed and raped? And also implying that she deserved it? I can’t possibly see any other way to read that statement, can you?

After this stunning look inside the head of Gary Barnett, you’d think that the school would have fired him. But they didn’t, instead the AD and President put him on paid administrative leave, but reinstated him just in time for the season. So he gets away with running a clearly outlaw program. Is it the worst in college football? No, I’m well aware that drugs, alcohol and sexual misconduct are not rare in this sport. What does drive me crazy is that Barnett was so blatantly unrepentant and for so long had been so self-righteous for so long. So he got away with it. The last two weeks, every commentator under the sun has been saying inanities like “Nobody is happier to see the start of the season than Gary Barnett.”

Like he’s just been picked on all summer. Poor Gary.

Then Saturday comes around, and Gary leads Colorado into Qwest Field and they beat my alma mater. I get to, damnit all to hell, see Our Boy Gary celebrate a victory, his fake plastered smile almost looked real on his self-righteous, smug jackal face.

But only for a moment.

Posted by Frinklin at September 15, 2004 06:48 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?