The University of Colorado announced on Monday that it will settle a Title IX lawsuit that accused the university of deliberate indifference to sexual harassment and assault by football players and recruits. The plaintiffs, two women who were allegedly raped by football players at an off campus party in 2001, will receive $2.85 million.
The lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that the attacks were sparked by the atmosphere created by the school’s use of alcohol, drugs and sex to recruit top athletes. During the height of the controversy in 2004, seven women came forward to say they had been raped by football players since 1997, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The school has also agreed to hire an adviser to monitor compliance with Title IX and add a position in the office of Victim Assistance. The advisor will be available to all individuals reporting sexual harassment or assault; will address any concerns with the University’s response to complaints; will review issues relating to sexual harassment and Title IX compliance; and will make recommendations to the university regarding reforms to university programs to prevent future sexual harassment, according to the National Women’s Law Center, which was part of the legal team that represented one of the plaintiffs.
Kimberley Hult, a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs, said in the Los Angeles Times that it had always been a top priority “to make sure something like this didn’t happen to another young woman…We’re very pleased with the changes the university has made.”