This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," Mar. 2, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight — is C.U. one of the nation's largest universities, out of control? In addition to the Churchill situation, there's a huge sex football scandal on campus. Apparently, the C.U. football program had an $800,000 slush fund that was used to hire prostitutes, among other things.
Joining us now from Denver is David Harsanyi, a columnist for "The Denver Post," and Dan Caplis, who does a radio program on KHOW (search).
All right, Dan, we'll begin with you: You know, football, sex scandals, $800,000 slush fund, Ward Churchill (search). Is anybody in charge up there? What's going on?
DAN CAPLIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Yes, Bill. It looks bad, doesn't it? And I know the perception out there is that the university's out of control, but it's really not.
The university's getting gutted right now by this Ward Churchill crisis. And it has to deal with it well, which means he has to be removed. And he will be removed, whether it's through a buyout, whether it's through a termination. I'm confident he will be removed.
The university realizes right now that their support is being blown away.
In terms of the football story, Bill, I understand your take on that as well. But when you really cut through the smoke and the sensationalistic reporting, there's been very little evidence to back up these allegations. And the grand jury report just released is one-sided. The university didn't get to challenge those witnesses. So I know it looks bad but I think people should withhold judgment until the facts are in.
O'REILLY: All right. David, how do you see the C.U. situation?
DAVID HARSANYI, COLUMNIST "THE DENVER POST": Well, I agree that the reports on the — the grand jury report and the Ward Churchill affair are separate issues. Most of this we've gone through it before with the sex scandals.
However, something that did strike me about the grand jury report was that Ken Salazar (search), who was the attorney general at the time, did an awful job in following up all these separate scandals. He never followed up on subpoenas and so forth. So I think that's something to look at. As the report stands, there's not much there, in my opinion.
O'REILLY: All right. But here's the perception that people are having. This is one of the nation's largest universities, as I mentioned. It's prestigious. I mean, it really defines education in the state of Colorado. I lived there for two years. When I was there, the university was very well thought of. It isn't anymore, gentlemen. It isn't anymore.
And in an Ivy League school, at Harvard, or Boston U., the president and the chancellor, they'd be gone. They'd be gone, because the situation is now out of control now, Dan. You know it's out of control.
This Churchill thing is now a joke, a national, international scandal. And the university's sitting there like, oh, we don't want to get sued. We don't want the ACLU (search) coming after us. You know, it's weakness. They're showing weakness on almost every level.
CAPLIS: Well, Bill, I think you're right about that. But I think they're about to change that. And I think Churchill will be gone because I think they appreciate the comments you just made. And more importantly, they now see the evidence mount.
I mean, on 630 KHOW, we took out a full-page ad in the paper today to just list some of the evidence. And your comment earlier that Churchill's justifying violence, you're right. But he's doing more than that. We have him on tape actually instructing a guy as to how to carry out a terrorist act against Wall Street. And he's being paid to give those terrorism instructions.
O'REILLY: Yes, but just the fact that he — that he is giving legitimacy to the enemy, who's wiped out 3,000 Americans, is enough that — the guy should have been gone the next day, Dave, the next day.
Well, you know, but here's something interesting that people don't know. They asked the professors at the University of Colorado to sign a petition to support Churchill. 9 percent of them did. It appeared in the Boulder paper, "The Daily Camera (search)." And I was heartened by that. 9 percent is not a lot. How did you see it?
HARSANYI: No, it's not a lot at all. And a prominent liberal professor, Paul Campos (search), has written on Churchill over and over, saying he should be fired.
O'REILLY: Yes, he's been on the program.
HARSANYI: Yes. So I think that's great. But I wanted to say the buyout, I think, is an awful idea. I think it sets an awful precedent...
O'REILLY: Oh, so do I.
HARSANYI: ...where - yes, I mean, I think that would be the most cowardly way out of this. I think you need to fire him. And taking these legal issues into account, I don't think that that should be part of the process.
O'REILLY: No, I think they should go and let the ACLU sue them. Go into court. This guy has got vulnerabilities in his academic record. He's got, as you guys know, a rap against him that he plagiarized stuff, that he stole a painting. You know, he's got so much that, it would seem to me, he'll lose the case.
But I think, Dan, I'm going to go further. I think Governor Owens should replace the leadership at the University of Colorado. Am I wrong?
CAPLIS: Well, Bill, a lot of people would agree with you on that right now. I think [CU Chancellor] Betsy Hoffman (search) is stronger and better than she appears right now. And I think she'll handle this well.
O'REILLY: Has she been on your program?
CAPLIS: You know, she has, quite some time ago in connection with the football allegations, but not on this issue. And I think she's laying low, Bill, because...
O'REILLY: I'll say.
HARSANYI: ...the chancellor's really in the spotlight right now.
O'REILLY: Has she talked to "The Denver Post"? Has she talked to you guys, David?
HARSANYI: She just -- well she just had a press conference maybe an hour ago that I was at.
O'REILLY: Oh, what did she say? I didn't know that. What did she say?
HARSANYI: She didn't say anything. And...
O'REILLY: But why did she have the press conference?
HARSANYI: ...she said — to sort of admonish the media for reporting on only the negative aspects of this grand jury report. And she sort of had a point, I suppose, but then she wouldn't answer two questions...
O'REILLY: She's got to go. She's got to go. I'm telling you. She's got, what, the president of the university, right?
O'REILLY: She's got to go, Dan. Look, she doesn't talk to you. She doesn't talk to me. She doesn't talk to Dave and "The Denver Post," all right.
And now she's saying that the scandal, this $800,000 slush fun, which we know exists, it's alumni giving money to the football team, go by your recruits, take them to strip clubs, do what you have to do. And she's not going to answer questions about it? Out of there! Out of there! Come on.
CAPLIS: Bill, I respectfully disagree. The slush fund allegations have not been proven...
O'REILLY: Oh, Dan.
CAPLIS: C.U. hasn't had a chance to respond.
O'REILLY: Come on.
CAPLIS: Seriously, Bill. I mean, there have been so many unfair knocks against C.U. that later couldn't be proven. Now I'll agree with you on one thing. If Betsy Hoffman does not engineer the dismissal of Ward Churchill, she will be gone. And I think she understands that.
O'REILLY: Well, how...
CAPLIS: More importantly, she understands that...
O'REILLY: No, no. I don't want you — you're missing the point, Dan. You and I usually agree on stuff. If the damage is already done, C.U.'s a joke. That fine institution which represented your state for hundreds — more than 100 years is a joke. And this woman is in charge. You're telling me she doesn't go?
CAPLIS: I think that if she fires Churchill, if she engineers that, she'll survive.
O'REILLY: All right, Dave, I'll give you the last word on it.
HARSANYI: From what I've seen lately, I don't think she'll survive but who knows what goes on up there these days.
O'REILLY: Well, no, I'm not going to take a cheap shot at C.U. I'm not, but I really -- I feel bad.
HARSANYI: You know, things have gotten better. I mean, I think things have gotten better, lately.
O'REILLY: Well, if things have gotten better, then you're really in trouble.
O'REILLY: We got to go, gentlemen.
HARSANYI: ...this grand jury report is old news.
O'REILLY: All right, we got to go. Thanks. We appreciate it.
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