When former Colorado coach Jon Embree said goodbye during his farewell press conference last month after being fired, one of the points he made more than once was that he did the job with integrity.
"You know, I did things the right way," Embree said. "I don't care what they say, or what anyone says."
Julie Manning, CU's assistant athletic director for compliance, said she has no reason to disagree with Embree.
Manning said Embree and his staff were consistently conscientious of staying within the rules. She said the football staff accounted for only a handful of minor secondary violations of NCAA rules over the past two years and such violations are common for every program and every sport each year.
Manning said it helped that the athletic department hired a fourth compliance officer two years ago at roughly the same time it hired Embree. Manning said that compliance staffer's priority is to work with the football program. She said there were initial concerns when Embree was hired about rules education because Embree and several of his assistants were returning to the college ranks from long stays in the NFL and many rules had changed.
"I felt like we had a really nice culture with them," Manning said. "I didn't hear things from the outside. I didn't hear things from the Pac-12 or Pac-12 compliance officers that, 'Hey, you've got some red flags here or you might need to reel your coach in.'
"They were really people who asked on the front end. I won't say that they always enjoyed our responses cause as coaches who are maybe new or getting back in, not everyone understands the legislation. But they were respectful with us and they operated within the legislation as far as I was aware of."
Manning said Embree continued to take that approach after he had been fired when he organized a farewell event with his assistant coaches and players at the Fox Theater in Boulder earlier this month. Manning said while Embree had been fired, he was still working with CU officials on some issues in the Dal Ward Center each day and CU had not yet hired Mike MacIntyre. So the party with a DJ was not a violation of NCAA rules because Embree was not technically in booster status at the time.
Embree worked with the compliance office for a week in advance of the celebration to make sure everything was approved. Manning said players and any girlfriends of players who attended were instructed to bring at least one canned food item to the event as a donation to help with the cost of renting the building and no food was served.
Manning said there were no CU compliance officials at the celebration but as far as she knows all of her directions were fulfilled.
"We just didn't feel comfortable doing that," Manning said. "When you have an outgoing coach like that in that situation we felt like it was probably just a little bit too much for compliance to be right there."
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