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City Cites Head of CU Boulder’s Football Operations for Public Health and Permitting Violations

City cites head of CU Boulder’s football operations for public health and permitting violations

The City of Boulder has taken enforcement action against the University of Colorado Boulder’s (CU) director of football operations as a result of a team hike on Mt. Sanitas on Sept. 17 that violated a number of public health orders put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. Bryan McGinnis was issued a summons today for failure to obtain a large group permit and violation of a public health order.

City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Park (OSMP) rangers were made aware of the concerning behavior on Mt. Sanitas yesterday and visually confirmed that many participants were not wearing masks or observing social distancing when passing community members on the trail. A member of CU's training staff indicated they had a total of 108 people in their group. In addition to being a public health order violation, the large group violated the city’s special permitting requirement for groups of more than 24 people on OSMP land.

 Rangers alerted university partners to concerns about this behavior yesterday. CU has cooperated fully with the city. University representatives have expressed regret about the incident and have assured the city they are taking steps to avoid further similar occurrences. City officials have an understanding that the university may take disciplinary action under its student code of conduct and health and safety regulations. CU remains a full partner in the efforts of the city and the county to keep our community safe.

The city continues to prioritize education of public health orders rather than issuing citations; however, law enforcement officers will issue citations for especially egregious behaviors like what occurred during this recent hike. 

City open space is a valuable resource in supporting community members’ physical and emotional health. The city requests all community members follow all public health guidance and responsible recreation reminders, including: 

  • Always bring a face covering when you leave home. Face coverings are required on city trails and trailheads and other public spaces in Boulder County when people cannot maintain six feet of distance. Requirements are pursuant to Boulder County Public Health Order. For more information, including special conditions related to age, health, & people in the same households visit:   
  • Always stay at least 6 feet from others you don’t live with or haven’t agreed to have close contact with. 
  • Do not gather in groups larger than 10 on city open space lands.  
  • Protect first responders. Know your limits and don’t take unnecessary risks. 
  • Remember: Leave No Trace! Pick up trash and dog waste. Stay on trail and walk through mud. Step off if you need to maintain distance but quickly step back on trail.

Published Sept. 18, 2020

Media Contact: Sarah Huntley, Communication and Engagement Director, 720-908-5722