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University of Iowa News Release

April 2, 2004

Investigator Says Football Recruiting Allegation Is 'Without Merit'

Neither the University of Iowa nor the UI football program encouraged or facilitated a sexual relationship between a football recruit and a young woman during the recruit's visit to the UI last fall, Iowa Deputy Attorney General Douglas R. Marek said today in a written report to UI President David Skorton.

Marek's report (here as a PDF file), in the form of a letter to Skorton, states:

"You asked me on March 8 to investigate allegations that the University of Iowa assisted in arranging a sexual encounter between a football recruit and a young woman in the course of his official visit to the university. The allegations arose in stories published by the Manhattan (Kansas) Mercury, and related to statements made by prospective student athlete Nick Patton. The University of Iowa hosted Mr. Patton as a football recruit on the weekend of September 20 to 22, 2003. I completed my investigation today and have concluded that the allegations are without merit. Neither the university nor the football program encouraged or facilitated any sexual activity for Mr. Patton during or after his visit."

Marek said he interviewed more than 30 people in the course of his investigation, including Nick Patton and the young woman whom he met while visiting the university and with whom he developed a relationship. The young woman, who was not identified, is a college student but not at the University of Iowa, Marek reported.

President Skorton thanked Marek for his efforts. "Mr. Marek was both patient and tenacious in conducting this very thorough investigation. I want to thank him personally and to thank Attorney General Tom Miller for allowing Mr. Marek to take time from his other duties to conduct the investigation. I also want to thank everyone in our athletic department for the open and cooperative spirit they demonstrated throughout the investigation.

"Of course, I am gratified to learn that this independent investigation confirmed what the people in our athletics department and in our football program said from the start, that we were not involved in introducing these two young people or in arranging any further contact between them," Skorton noted. "We will take this opportunity to review our rules and practices for recruiting and make certain that everyone associated with our program understands that they must continue to adhere to the highest ethical standards."

Skorton said that he has asked the UI athletic department and the individual head coaches of all sports to update or create written guidelines for all recruiting visits. In addition to "overarching guidelines," each coach will be required to have specific policies for their sport. Those policies must include rules on documenting how the policies are communicated to coaches, student-athletes who serve as hosts for recruits, and for the recruits. The policies must also include "enforcement mechanisms that can be documented," Skorton said.

The UI President asked the athletics department and coaches to have the new guidelines in place within 60 days.

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000.

CONTACT(S): Media: Steve Parrott, 319-335-0552,