University of Colorado chancellor Phil DiStefano made headlines earlier this week when he said he’d heard that some of CU’s black student-athletes refer to the school’s athletic training facility as “The Plantation.”
The Boulder Daily Camera reported on DiStefano’s comments at a Board of Regents meeting Wednesday. He said he’d learned through an athletic department staffer that male members of the football and basketball teams felt like “everything they do pays for the young white female playing tennis or on the golf team or track and field.”
A couple days later, though, CU Athletic Director Rick George and senior football player Chidobe Awuzie, who are representing the school at Pac-12 media days, pushed back against those comments.
“I’ve never heard it until it was brought to my attention (Wednesday),” said Awuzie, per Brian Howell of the Daily Camera. “I hang out with all the black people on the team and white people on the team, and I’ve never, ever heard that.”
Awuzie, who plays cornerback, is black and has been at CU since 2013. He told the Daily Camera that while Boulder is an overwhelmingly white town, he has found the city “diversity-inclusive” and has enjoyed his time at CU.
It’s possible that “The Plantation” nickname preceded Awuzie’s time at the school. George, CU’s AD since 2013, was familiar with it but said the name came from players “three or more years ago.”
DiStefano’s remarks made headlines in part because of the ongoing push among some media members and current and former players to pay male student-athletes who play football and basketball, which generate billions of dollars in revenue for the NCAA.