Dr. Saturday

Three Colorado State players expelled a month after vicious beating

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

News story from 9News in Colorado taken after the incident.

The three Colorado State players involved in the vicious beating of four freshman after a party in early April have been expelled.

Junior defensive end Nordly Capi, junior linebacker Mike Orakpo and junior defensive end Colton Paulhus had been indefinitely suspended from the football team and Friday evening Colorado State athletic director Jack Graham sent out an email to Colorado State students, faculty and staff confirming the three had been dismissed from school.

"As AD, I want to make it absolutely clear that we have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior by our student athletes. Our football coaches led by Coach McElwain cooperated fully with the police investigation and we acted immediately to suspend the players from the team indefinitely—a suspension that is now permanent," Graham wrote.

"The Department of Athletics is fully supportive of the University's processes for addressing this type of incident, and while the results of such processes are typically not public, there is an exception when the allegations concern violence, including assault offenses. For that reason, I am able to report now that players Mike Orakpo, Nordly Capi, and Colton Paulhus have been expelled from Colorado State, effective Monday May 7."

Graham notes there is an appeals process, but the three former football players have not been allowed back on campus.

On April 6, the four freshmen were walking home from a party when an SUV with Capi, Orakpo and Paulhus pulled up. Someone yelled homophobic slurs from the car, which prompted victim, 20-year-old Donny Gocha, to yell a similar insult back. The SUV came to a screeching halt and all three players jumped out and proceeded to beat on Gocha. Gocha's three friends came to his aid and suffered injuries, but Gocha had two swollen eyes, chipped teeth, cuts, bruises and a boot print tattooed on his back.

"You could just tell they were looking for a fight," Another victim, John "JD" Haley told the Fort Collins Coloradoan. "They just started beating the back of Donny's head in.

"I covered Donny's head with my body. We were all scared for his life. It froze me. You can't really put into words how disturbing it was. My only thought was to protect his head."

The three players were charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, but when police searched their homes, they found marijuana and steroids and syringes in two of the residences. However, none of the players were charged with possession.

Capi led the Mountain West in sacks last season and Orakpo, younger brother of former Texas star Brian Orakpo, was the Rams' third-leading tackler in 2011. Paulus transferred to Colorado State from American River College in Sacramento, Calif., last winter and played all 12 games on special teams.

"Virtually every student-athlete and coach is horrified, angry and embarrassed by the actions of these few," Graham wrote. "With me, our student-athletes and coaches have accepted responsibility for these actions and for doing all we can to root out this behavior to the extent it may still exist.

"You have my word our athletes will continue to be held accountable to represent our University in ways that always make us proud that we are Colorado State University Rams."

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