Colo. Player Suspended Over Racist Email - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 12-11-2005, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Colo. Player Suspended Over Racist Email

DENVER - A Colorado football player has been suspended and his girlfriend, a cross-country runner, has quit the sports program after being accused of sending a racist e-mail to an Hispanic member of the cross-country team.

The e-mail included a reference to dragging the man behind a car, recalling an incident in 1998 in Texas when a black man was dragged to his death. The two athletes were cited for harassment and ethnic intimidation.

A news release from athletic department director Mike Bohn on Sunday announced the suspension of offensive tackle Clint O'Neal and Jackie Zeigle's decision to leave the cross-country and track teams, but did not mention the e-mail.

A police report said O'Neal and Zeigle, who are both white, sent the typo-filled message to Greg Castro. It called Castro a "river rat" and "border hopper." The message suggested O'Neal would drag Castro behind his car.

O'Neal, a 6-foot-6, 305-pound senior from Weatherford, Texas, was suspended for violation of team and athletic department rules. Bohn did not say how long the suspension would last. Colorado plays Clemson in the Champ Bowl on Dec. 27.

He said Zeigle, a junior from South Jordan, Utah, had told the university she was quitting the program for personal reasons.

Bohn said privacy rules prevented the disclosure of any other information in the case other than to say the decision on O'Neal was made after several meetings over the past few days.

Neither O'Neal or Zeigle is listed in the telephone directory, and an athletic department spokesman did not return a call seeking contact information.

The suspension announcement comes three days after football coach Gary Barnett was ousted. In addition to losing his last two games by a total score of 100-6, the program had endured a sordid recruiting scandal in which sex was allegedly used to entice athletes to come to the school.

Police said O'Neal told them he was upset after his team lost the Big 12 Championship game 70-3 to Texas. He told Zeigle to use his account and write the message. Zeigle told police she was retaliating against her teammate because he is obsessed with her and harasses her.

Police said Castro told them he felt threatened by the message and slept at a friend's house. He told the Daily Camera he doesn't harass Zeigle.

Both Zeigle and O'Neal are scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 19.

Thanks, D.

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