Former Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt has criticized athletic department leadership and coach Dan Hawkins recently for painting over a sign on the wall in the auditorium in the Dal Ward Center that was meaningful to players during Klatt`s time in the program and to previous Buffs.

The sign read "The pride and tradition of the Colorado Buffaloes will not be entrusted to the timid or the weak."

It first appeared in the CU team room during former coach Bill McCartney`s tenure and was in front of players in the program virtually every day throughout much of the past two decades according to Klatt, who is the co-host of a sports talk radio program in Denver weekday afternoons on 1510 AM.

"It was one of the those signs that you sat in the team room and you realized that for years and years before you, Buffaloes sat in the same seats you were in and they looked at that sign and they worked hard and you knew that they understood what you were going through," Klatt said.

"So it brought a real family mentality to being a Colorado Buffalo. You felt like you were a part of something bigger than yourself and even bigger than your team or class."

Klatt said the fact the sign was painted over concerns him and other former Buffs because it is an indication in their eyes that Hawkins and athletic director Mike Bohn don`t value some of the traditions in place before their arrival.


Hawkins was asked about the sign on Tuesday and he said it was taken down to make room for a larger video viewing area.

Players and coaches now use the space where the sign used to be to review and study film, which is projected on the entire wall, making it easier to see for large groups.

However, Hawkins confused the sign with another smaller plaque with a similar saying that was also taken down and moved near the equipment room. The sign Klatt has referred to was painted on the wall before and was painted over when the new video system was installed.

"In a lot of people`s eyes, including mine, that`s completely unacceptable," Klatt said. "That sign was put up by coach McCartney and spanned generations and teams from a three-win team in 2000 to 2001 Big 12 champions to 1994 finishing third in the country, to national championships, to Heisman Trophies, to Big 12 North Championships.

"One of the common threads was we felt like we were part of a family, and it is disheartening to know that that is not being preached and to know that sign is no longer there for the players to look at."

Kasa disappointed

Freshman defensive end Nick Kasa spoke at length Tuesday about his season coming to an end because of a case of mononucleosis and an enlarged spleen.

He said he hopes the NCAA will award him a medical redshirt season because he played in only four game and a total of 47 snaps.

He missed the second half of fall camp and the first three games of his first season of college ball because of a sprained ligament in his knee.

"It`s really frustrating definitely," Kasa said. "I can`t catch a break. But if I get the season back, that would be even be better because I get some playing time and I still get my four years to play."

Slow start remedy

Hawkins said he and his coaches "have a few things up our sleeves" for fixing the Buffs tendency for slow starts this season. He did not say what those things are and players asked about them Tuesday did not know what might be in store for them.

CU has been outscored 64-27 in the first quarter this season and hasn`t scored more than once in the first quarter of any game.

Hawkins said some of the emotion prior to games has to come from the coaching staff.

"I`ve stood at the pulpit several times this year and been pretty demonstrative," Hawkins said. "You can`t do that all the time because sometimes that wears out. I don`t think you have to be a yeller, screamer. I don`t think you have to be that. I just think there has to be something inside you for whatever reason that compels you to bring your 'A` game. For every team or for every player, that can be different."


Longtime linebackers coach Brian Cabral will participate in his 300th football game as a member of the Colorado program this weekend. He played in 46 games as a linebacker in the mid-1970s and has coached at CU since 1989. ...

Hawkins said surgery was initially schedules for wide receiver Anthony Wright this week, but it was postponed. Wright injured his knee against Missouri and is out of this week`s game. ...

CU officials said about 8,500 tickets remain for the Texas A&M game.