•Jo Jo Collins, a starting receiver last season, pleaded guilty to brawling in March 1987 after assaulting an Air Force Academy cadet and repeatedly stabbing a mattress in a fight over Collins's former girlfriend.
•Starting quarterback Sal Aunese, a junior, was suspended from 1988 spring practice and spent 12 nights in jail last summer after pleading guilty to breaking into a dormitory room while searching for a student who had taunted him from a third-floor window.
•Kanavis McGhee, Colorado's 6'5", 230-pound sophomore linebacker, and Eric Bieniemy, also a sophomore and the Buffaloes' leading rusher last season, were arrested in a bar fight in February 1988, after McGhee sent a 5'7", 158-pound bouncer, Roger Hogoboom, to the hospital with a fractured cheekbone and cuts that required plastic surgery. McGhee said he was angry that Bieniemy had been called a "little nigger" by a bar patron. Hogoboom was injured when he tried to separate the combatants. Both pleaded no contest—McGhee to a charge of second-degree assault, and Bieniemy to charges of disorderly conduct and fighting in public. They received deferred sentences and were ordered to perform community service. They were also subjected to unspecified disciplinary action by McCartney.
•Last July junior halfback J.J. Flannigan was arrested for threatening a passerby who had tried to intervene in an argument Flannigan was having with his girlfriend outside a Boulder movie theater. Flannigan allegedly
told the man, "Back off or I'll get my nine-millimeter and put you six foot under." The charges were dropped. Three months later Flannigan, who is black, was arrested again, this time for allegedly hitting a woman who, he said, had uttered a racial slur as Flannigan and the woman's companion were arguing. Flannigan claims the woman was choking him. He was suspended for a game and pleaded no contest to a charge of third-degree assault. He received a deferred sentence.
•Wide receiver Andy Massucco, a junior walk-on, was arrested a month ago on charges of first-degree sexual assault for allegedly raping a student in her dormitory. Police said the victim told friends that she wished Massucco had killed her, because then she "would not have to remember what happened." Massucco says all he did was kiss the woman good night and has responded with a slander suit against her. He's out on $5,000 bail, and his football status is undetermined, pending the outcome of his trial.
And at least one Buff-to-be got into trouble even before arriving in Boulder. High school running back Marc Jones of Oceanside. Calif., who had signed a letter of intent in February 1988, was sentenced last July to a year in jail for striking a 17-year-old boy in the head with a rock, leaving him partly blind in one eye. The Buffaloes withdrew their scholarship offer to Jones, who attended the same high school as Aunese.
The rape and burglary charges against Reliford have led the Colorado campus police to question the actions of athletic-department officials. According to police, at about 2 a.m. on Jan. 20, Reliford broke into a dorm room shared by two women, made sexual advances to one of its occupants, was rebuffed, bit her on the neck and raped her.
But on Feb. 3, when a warrant was issued for Reliford's arrest, he was nowhere to be found. University detective David Wurl says he staked out Reliford's dorm room and classes in vain. Reliford turned himself in to police on Feb. 9—the day after the national letter-of-in-tent signing day for high school recruits. Wurl, for one, suspects that Reliford was kept conveniently out of sight in an effort to delay adverse publicity until after next year's Buffaloes had been lassoed.
Says Wurl, "How else does an 18-year-old kid suddenly pull up stakes and abandon his classes without telling anyone? Then, right after signing day, he reappears?"
McCartney angrily denies that he or anyone else connected with the Buffaloes had hidden Reliford, who, it turns out, was home in Detroit. "I resent anybody who says we did," says McCartney. "They [the campus police] came over on the ninth asking us if we knew where Marcus Reliford was, and a half hour later we delivered him.... There was no interference on my part."