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University of Iowa News Release

March 8, 2004

Deputy Attorney General Named To Investigate Football Recruiting Allegation

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University of Iowa President David Skorton today appointed Iowa Deputy Attorney General Douglas R. Marek to investigate the March 5 report in the Manhattan (Kansas) Mercury newspaper that a football recruit had consensual sexual relations in the course of his official visit to the University of Iowa last fall. The newspaper article quotes the recruit as saying that the University may have assisted in arranging the encounter.

"I am grateful to Mr. Marek and to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller for agreeing to assist us in this investigation," Skorton said. "Although the young man involved in this incident has told another newspaper that the Manhattan Mercury story was incorrect, and that no one from the University of Iowa was involved in arranging this relationship, I believe that we should follow through with an investigation. It is my hope that Mr. Marek will be able to interview all the parties to this incident and provide us with an objective report on what happened. We will use that report to guide our response, including a review of our recruiting policies and practices."

"I support the university's plan to ask an independent investigator to review the Kansas player's recruiting visit to Iowa last fall, and Doug Marek is an excellent choice to handle the matter," Attorney General Miller said. "Doug has been deputy attorney general for criminal law since 1995. He has a wide range of experience, excellent judgment, and impeccable integrity. He will do a thorough and professional job on this task."

Marek is a native of Colorado and has two degrees from Colorado College in Colorado Springs. He earned his law degree from Drake University in Des Moines and was a member of the Drake law school faculty for two years before joining the Iowa Attorney General's office in 1989.

In a letter appointing Marek, Skorton stated, "I am eager to have this matter investigated as soon as possible and when it is completed, I would ask you to provide a written report directly to me. However, while time is of the essence, I want you to be sure to take the time and expense necessary to provide the best possible answer as to whether there was any involvement in arranging or facilitating the recruit's sexual activity on the part of university or department of athletics employees or students. I ask that you communicate with me regularly on the progress of the investigation."

The letter continues: "I am providing you a credential to assist you in obtaining access to witnesses or other evidence that you believe important to obtain. I will add that I am asking you to protect the confidentiality of third parties to the extent that you can and still provide a thorough explanation of what occurred. I am thinking particularly of people, students or otherwise, other than the recruit and his player host."

Marek said he would attempt to complete interviews as soon as possible, depending on the availability of people involved in the case. "It's important to note that while my work with the Attorney General's office is in criminal law, we are not looking at criminal conduct in this case," he said.

Skorton made the decision to appoint an outside investigator Friday afternoon, March 5, after learning of the report in the Manhattan newspaper. In a statement released that afternoon, Skorton said, "Everyone associated with our football program believes firmly that we were not involved in introducing these two young people or in arranging any further contact between them. However, because the integrity and reputation of our programs are at stake, we must treat this report seriously. For that reason, I have directed that an independent investigator be appointed to look into this reported incident."

Skorton's Friday statement concluded: "Regardless of the outcome of our investigation, 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."

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott, 319-335-0552, steven-parrott@uiowa.edu