DENVER — University of Colorado lawyers asked a federal judge Tuesday to dismiss two lawsuits at the center of the football recruiting scandal, saying the suits don’t belong in a federal court.
The lawsuits were filed by two women who claim they were sexually assaulted by football players or recruits during an off-campus party in December 2001. No criminal sexual assault charges were filed.
The suits accuse the school of violating Title IX, the federal law that guarantees equal education to men and women, by allowing its football program to harbor an environment in which woman routinely suffered sexual harassment.
In order to file such a lawsuit in federal court, the women must show there was intentional discrimination by the school and show the university somehow caused the harassment, CU attorneys argued in documents filed in U.S. District Court.
Neither standard has been met, the documents say. The university did not cause the woman’s alleged emotional injuries, therefore the woman cannot seek money damages from the school, school attorneys argued.
In a separate filing Tuesday, the women’s attorneys reiterated their claim that the school has long-known about “severe and pervasive sexual harassment, assaults and misconduct” by football players and recruiters.
The lawsuits, which have been consolidated into one case, are set for trial May 31.
Former CU student Lisa Simpson and another woman claim the 2001 party was planned as a girl’s night in and were drinking heavily before football players and visiting recruits arrived uninvited.
The players and recruits arrived with the expectation women attending the party would provide sexual favors, according to the filing by Simpson’s attorneys.