GW Athletic Director Jack Kvancz said Tuesday that he might have sanctioned GW basketball player Attila Cosby, had he known Cosby was charged with nine misdemeanors at the D.C. Superior Court Jan. 26.
“If I had known (about the charges), I might have done something,” Kvancz said. “But now, the season’s over.”
Cosby was charged with sexual abuse, weapons violations and theft for a May 15, 2000, incident involving an alleged prostitute at his Guthridge Hall room. He pleaded not guilty to all charges March 29 and will face trial June 25.
Kvancz said he was upset that head coach Tom Penders did not inform him about Cosby’s legal situation after Cosby told Penders he received a notice to return to court in January.
“That’s a problem,” Kvancz said. “(Penders) should have told me.”
Penders said he did not tell Kvancz because he did not think it was important. He said Cosby showed him a piece of paper on the bus ride to Temple University Feb. 8.
“I couldn’t understand it,” Penders said. “I did see the word `misdemeanor’ a couple of times.”
A D.C. Superior Court judge dismissed a felony sexual abuse charge against Cosby July 9, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office re-charged him in January with misdemeanors.
Penders said he told Cosby to talk to his lawyer.
“Maybe a week went by (since our first conversation),” Penders said. “And I asked (Cosby) if everything was taken care of, and he said it was.”
“(Cosby) said he went to court and his attorney said, `don’t worry about it,'” Penders said. “That’s all I knew.”
Penders said he did not think the developments were important enough to tell Kvancz.
“There would be no reason to conceal anything from Jack (Kvancz),” Penders said. “We’re very close.”
Kvancz said he thought it would be unfair to punish Cosby twice for the same incident. If new evidence is brought out in court or to GW, he said, Cosby’s status on the team might change.
Bob Chernak, vice president for Student Academic and Support Services, said SJS sanctioned Cosby for the incident last summer. Cosby moved out of GW housing this summer and currently does not reside at the University.
Chernak said the University would not try Cosby again for the incident unless new information about the case is revealed.
“Absent any new evidence, there would be no reason to suspend him from the team,” Chernak said.
Chernak said Cosby received appropriate punishment for the incident.
“There’s no indication that he is a threat to the GW community,” Chernak said. “He’s still on probation, that part is still in effect.”
At the July hearing, the prosecution alleged that Cosby sodomized the complainant, a 46-year-old crack-cocaine user, with a broomstick and forced her to perform oral sex on him at gunpoint.
Cosby faces nearly four and a half years in prison if convicted on all misdemeanor charges. He declined comment.