Statement from Washington football coach Rick Neuheisel

Oct. 8, 2002

Seattle - 'While I was the head football coach at the University of Colorado, I took an aggressive, competitive approach with our football recruiting efforts. I want to stress that at no time did I intend to break NCAA regulations and I never suggested to my staff we operate outside of those rules. I never deceived anyone, nor was I dishonest.

'While being creative in approach, I felt that I was operating within the letter of those rules. It was my mistake to make those judgements without consulting the proper sources at my disposal as a head coach.

'Following the NCAA Committee on Infractions hearing in Philadelphia in August, the finding was that my interpretation was not within the spirit of the rules in the eyes of the committee. For that reason, I will not appeal the decision the committee on infractions announced today.

'This has been a long and arduous process. I want to move on and concentrate my efforts with my football team.

'It is very evident that the NCAA enforcement staff and the NCAA committee on infractions have decided to make a strong statement regarding bumps, or inadvertent contacts regarding recruits in off-campus situations.

'The committee's obvious message is that these bumps should no longer be a part of the college football culture. While commonplace in the past, if this ruling serves to send a strong message regarding these activities, then I think it is a positive for college football. I would not be at all surprised however; if legislation is proposed which will change the rule as it currently exists.

'I continue to be totally committed to NCAA compliance and will continue to work towards high standards of academic and athletic integrity while I am the football coach at the University of Washington. I will do so by following both the letter and spirit of the rules.'

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