Head coach Dan Hawkins said Monday there had been a couple of team meetings since freshman Lynn Katoa and sophomore Riar Geer were taken into police custody Friday for their alleged involvement in unrelated off-campus fights. Both players are suspended from the team indefinitely. Neither is participating in spring ball, which began Monday.
After Hawkins addressed the team Sunday, the players held a closed-door meeting of their own.
“We needed to air out some stuff as a team, make sure everyone’s on the same page,” said rising senior defensive tackle George Hypolite on Monday.
Fifth-year senior Ryan Walters took a leadership role in the players meeting. Among the things addressed was the need for players to understand their role in the community as Colorado football players. With the privilege to play comes the responsibility to conduct yourself in a higher manner than perhaps other students at CU.
Walters said Monday, sometimes that means walking away from trouble if and when it arises.
Hypolite said team members talked about what it means to be a player on the CU football team, too.
“(We need to) make sure as a team we know what we want to represent ourselves as, what we want to do to represent this university, the community, our coaches, and what we need to do to keep up that high standard,” Hypolite said. “We represent the University of Colorado at large, and a lot of times, the state of Colorado at large. We have to carry ourselves in a certain manner.”
Asked about what he said to his players when he addressed the recent arrests, Hawkins said, “My football programs have always been about aspiring to have that magical experience — all of that is and what that’s worth. And then understanding that for that to happen in your life, you have to be abnormal. You have to think different, you have to act different and you have to respond differently.
“We have to rise up to that call.”