The University of Colorado named assistant coach Brian Cabral as the interim head coach of the embattled football program -- pending the outcome of an investigation into a recruiting scandal that includes allegations of player rape.
Cabral replaces Gary Barnett -- who was put on paid leave this week after criticizing the athletic ability of a former Colorado kicker who says she was raped by a teammate in 2000.
Cabral is a former Colorado player and has been an assistant for 15 years in Boulder. He was promoted to assistant head coach in 1999 shortly after Barnett was hired. He says his goals are to work hard to pull the team together, make the most of spring drills and win back the confidence of the university and its community.
The announcement of Cabral's appointment was made by Athletic
Director Dick Tharp.
Cabral says Barnett still is the head coach but he has an opportunity for the next two months to step up and lead the team. He says he plans to not just maintain the team -- but to build the team into something that will earn the confidence of the school and its supporters.
He says he also intends that football players will have a strong academic semester.
Statement of University of Colorado chancellor Richard Byyny announcing the selection of Brian Cabral as interim football coach:
" I am very pleased with the selection of Brian Cabral as the interim head football coach during the period of the investigation by the independent panel. His experience and leadership abilities will play an essential role in moving the football program forward during this period.
I met today with coach Cabral and athletic director Dick Tharp and expressed my expectation and confidence that our program will set high standards not only for athletic achievement, but also academic accomplishments and social behavior.
Coach Cabral is respected by the players and the entire department. He has served as a mentor to many players in his role as assistant coach. His presence will provide stability and leadership at a critical time for the team. Coach Cabral has my full support and confidence."