University of Colorado Football Player Suspended after Racist E-Mail

Diverse Issues in Higher Education, January 12, 2006 | Go to article overview
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University of Colorado Football Player Suspended after Racist E-Mail


DENVER

A University of Colorado football player has been suspended and his girlfriend, a member of the university's cross-country team, has quit the program after being accused of sending a racist e-mail to a Hispanic cross-country runner, the school announced.

The e-mail included a reference to dragging the man behind a car, recalling an incident in 1998 in Jasper, 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 announcing the suspension made no mention of the e-mail.

It said Clint O'Neal, a 6-foot-6,305-pound senior who starts at offensive tackle for the Buffaloes, was suspended for violation of team and athletic department rules. The length of the suspension is unclear, however, because the college football season is already over.

According to Bohn, Jackie Zeigle, a junior from South Jordan, Utah, had told the university she was quitting the cross country and track programs 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 several days.

A police report says O'Neal and Zeigle, who are both White, sent the typo-filled message to Greg Castro. It called Castro a "river rat," a "border hopper" and a "bean eating piece of (expletive)." The message, which suggested O'Neal would drag Castro behind his car, was sent from O'Neal's e-mail account on an Internet portal for college students that requires a university e-mail address.

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