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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Colorado State Players Face Charges

Prosecutors said Wednesday they have issued arrest warrants for seven people, including three members of the Colorado State football team, as part of a fraud and forgery investigation dating to last year.

"There has been an ongoing criminal investigation since November into bank fraud, and it went to a grand jury in February," said Linda Jensen, a spokeswoman for Larimer County prosecutors. "These are not indictments from a grand jury. These are charges that we have filed."

The felony charges range from forgery to theft to identity theft.

Coach Sonny Lubick suspended the players immediately pending the outcome of the police investigation.

"We take these charges very seriously," Lubick said. "We will cooperate fully with this ongoing investigation. This type of behavior is not tolerated in our program."

Lubick said no players would be made available for comment.

The charges came as Colorado State prepares for Saturday's showdown with rival Colorado in Denver. The Colorado program has been rocked by off-field allegations over the past few years, ranging from allegations of sexual assault by football players to claims by authorities that alcohol is used to entice recruits to the Boulder campus.

The players were identified as Brian Abata, a freshman defensive lineman from Denver; Robert Herbert, a senior cornerback from Alta Loma, Calif.; and Micah Crews, a freshman defensive back from Englewood.

Abata and Crews are redshirt freshman, while Herbert, a senior, sat out the spring with a leg stress fracture. Herbert, listed as a backup cornerback on the depth chart, finished fourth on the team in 72 total tackles last season and was named honorable mention All Mountain West Conference.

Also charged were Daniel Foster, Calee Jo Chleboun, Tramell McGill and Preston Garcia.

McGill was listed in the 2005 CSU media guide as a running back from Chandler, Ariz. He has since transferred to Arizona Western, where he ran for 103 yards and a touchdown Saturday in his school's 14-3 season-opening victory over Pima Community College.

Jim Howell, sports information director at Arizona Western in Yuma, Ariz., confirmed that McGill transferred from CSU last season, but he was not aware of the allegations against the sophomore.

Foster was a defensive back who played for CSU in 2002, athletics spokesman Gary Ozzello said.

School officials declined comment on details of the investigation.

"We have been informed that there is a current police investigation involving an unknown number of students at the university," said Anne Hudgens, director of judicial affairs at Colorado State. "We will use any information provided by authorities to determine an appropriate disciplinary response. We also may be limited in the information we can provide to the public regarding these students due to federal student privacy laws."


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