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DiBIaggio Tapped To Aid Colorado

DiBIaggio Tapped To Aid ColoradoTuftsPresident Emeritus John DiBiaggio will lead efforts to evaluateand reform Colorado University’s athletics department followinga series of scandals.Boulder,CO [02-25-04] 

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [02.25.04] After a series of scandals thrust the athletics department at Colorado University into the national spotlight, the university's leadership has called on a former Tufts president for help. John DiBiaggio - a nationally-recognized expert on college athletics reform - was tapped to help Colorado's president and chancellor design and institute reforms.

"They are interested in assuring that they develop a program in athletics that they can be proud of at the university, a model program," DiBiaggio, president emeritus of Tufts, told the Denver Post.

Over the last few months, Colorado has been flooded with accusations that its athletics department mistreats women.

"The scandal includes allegations of rape and accusations that recruits were lured to the Boulder school with sex and alcohol," reported the Associated Press.

Reporting directly to President Betsy Hoffman and Chancellor Richard Byyny, DiBiaggio will have total access to people and programs on campus, including recently-suspended football coach Gary Barnett.

"What they really wish for me to do is serve as an observer and make recommendations to them as to changes that might be considered," the former Tufts president told the Post.

During his career - which included presidencies at Tufts, Michigan State and University of Connecticut - DiBiaggio has been involved in a national movement to reform college athletics.

"He has served as a member of the board of the NCAA Foundation and the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, which was founded in 1989 to study problems and recommend improvements in college sports," reported AP.

While president at Tufts in 2000, "DiBiaggio wrote that intercollegiate athletics ‘continues to be plagued by abuses,' and said real change can happen only at each institution and only if college and university presidents have the courage to stand up to pressures against it," reported the Post.

Colorado's president says she's ready.

"We have to do this at this moment in time," Hoffman told the newspaper. "This university has to emerge from this stronger, emerge with all the questions answered. We absolutely have to do this.".

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