Nick Kasa, a CU Buffs tight end, is getting a lot of attention in the wake of the NFL Combine, an annual meat market where players are examined, tested and quizzed by teams. The reason, though, is only marginally connected to his (first-rate) play and potential. During an interview with ESPN Radio in Denver, he revealed that he was asked a number of personal questions during his team interviews, including, "Do you like girls?" Audio and video below.
In discussing the Combine on the CJ & Kreckman show, Kasa said, "I think the whole point of the week is to play with your mind to see if you stay focused and stay driven. There was a couple of questions by coaches.... They try to catch you off guard or try to say something you wouldn't normally say...to see if they can get a reaction. They're trying to see how badly they can get in your mind."
Examples? "They ask you like, 'Do you have a girlfriend? Are you married? Do you like girls?'" Kasa added, "Those kinds of things. It was kind of weird. But they would ask you with a straight face, and it's a pretty weird experience altogether."
To hear the entire interview, click here
The portion of the conversation excerpted above is not just unwise, but probably illegal. Here's a link-filled blurb from a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission page about discrimination:
The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA), as amended, also protects federal government applicants and employees from discrimination in personnel actions (see "Prohibited Personnel Practices" http://www.opm.gov/ovrsight/proidx.asp) based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, political affiliation, or on conduct which does not adversely affect the performance of the applicant or employee -- which can include sexual orientation or transgender (gender identity) status. The Office of Special Counsel (OSC), www.osc.gov, and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), www.mspb.gov, enforce the prohibitions against federal employment discrimination codified in the CSRA. For more information, see OPM's Addressing Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Federal Civilian Employment at www.opm.gov/er/address2/guide01.htm, OPM's Guidance Regarding the Employment of Transgender Individuals in the Federal Workplace at www.opm.gov/diversity/Transgender/Guidance.asp, and OSC's Prohibited Personnel Practices and How to File a Complaint at http://www.osc.gov/ppp.htm.
Beyond legal concerns, such questions about sexual orientation are just plain dumb given the tenor of the times. There still hasn't been an active NFL player to come out as gay -- not because there aren't any (math tells us there must be), but probably due to the sort of anti-homosexual culture associated with macho sports. But times may be changing, albeit slowly, as demonstrated by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo's pro-gay marriage statements during Super Bowl week.
In the meantime, Kasa's comments have created calls for an investigation. As well they should.
Continue for an ESPN video about the controversy, followed by Kasa's CU Buffs bio.
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AT COLORADO: This Season (Sr.) -- He enters the fall listed first at tight end, as he progressed very well at the position he started to learn to play last October. He has exhibited some speed (in the 4.55 range) and the ability to break away from the linebackers and could have a very nice future on offense after once looking to do so as a defensive end.
2011 (Jr.) -- He appeared in 11 games (no starts), switching sides of the ball from defensive end to tight end late in the season; he moved over eight games into the year, practicing at tight end and appearing in a game on offense for the first time in the season finale at Utah, where he caught one pass for eight yards. He had seen action for 132 plays on defense in those eight games, recording seven tackles (five solo), two third down stops, a tackle for zero and a touchdown save (his two solo stops against Oregon include the pair of third down stops and the tackle for zero gain). He added two knockdown blocks on kickoff return unit duty on special teams. He missed the last three-fourths of spring ball after he went down with a severely sprained knee in the fourth practice session.
2010 (Soph.) -- He played in all 12 games, including one start (versus Texas Tech), and saw action for 286 snaps from scrimmage. He was in on 18 tackles for the year, 12 solo and two for losses, including one quarterback sack, and two tackles for zero. He had a career-high four tackles (three solo) at Oklahoma, with three against Missouri; he had two in four other games. He registered his first career sack and third down stop on the same play against Iowa State (a 9-yard loss). He was the recipient of the Dan Stavely Award for being the most improved defensive lineman during spring drills as selected by the coaches. In the spring, he was the second fastest defensive lineman on the team with 4.67 speed in the 40-yard dash.
2009 (Fr.)-He suffered a knee injury in the first fall scrimmage (August 13), but it did not require surgery. He did miss the first three games of the season, but returned to play in the next four (West Virginia, Texas, Kansas, Kansas State), but was then sidelined for the final five due to mononucleosis. Despite the unique set of circumstances, because he played four games in the middle of the season, NCAA rules state that he would not qualify for a medical redshirt. He saw action for 47 snaps in the four games, recording two solo tackles (one each at West Virginia and Texas), with the one against the Longhorns for a 3-yard loss. Prior to the knee injury, the coaches felt that he would have competed for a starting job.
HIGH SCHOOL -- He earned All-American honors from PrepStar and SuperPrep as a senior, when he was a U.S. Army All-American and played in the all-star game in San Antonio. EA Sports selected him to its All-America second-team. SuperPrep ranked him as the No. 5 player overall from the Midlands region and the top player from Colorado, also placing him No. 41 on its Elite 50 list. He made the prestigious Long Beach Press-Telegram's Best-In-The-West team (the second of four defensive ends). The Orange County Register named him to its "Fab 15" second-team. One of 14 defensive linemen named to the prestigious Tacoma News-Tribune's Western 100 list. Rivals.com slotted him in as the No. 42 player overall in the nation, classified him as the best defensive end against the run, ranked him third on the list of strong-side defensive ends and the No. 5 defensive end nationally; Scout.com tabbed him as the No. 4 defensive end in the USA. The Sporting News ranked him No. 68 (the eighth DE) on its 2009 Top 100 List. He earned All-Colorado and All-State (5A) honors from both the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post as a junior and senior, with both papers selecting him as the state's defensive player of the year for 2008. He was also a three-time, first-team All-Front Range League performer his sophomore through senior years. He went straight to the varsity team upon entering high school, and would conclude his Legacy career as the Lightning's all-time leader in both tackles for loss (46) and quarterback sacks (31½) and as the second-leading tackler (207, which included the third most solo tackles, 130). He also set the marks for season (10) and single-game (3) sacks. A four-year starter at defensive end, as a senior he was in on 59 tackles (40 solo, 13 for losses including 10 sacks) and had one fumble recovery. He also started at offensive tackle on offense, where he did not allow a sack and did not receive a penalty while averaging three pancake blocks per game. He made 63 tackles as a junior (42 solo, 14 for losses with 8½ sacks), chased down Montbello's punter for a 22-yard loss and a safety, had an interception and a fumble recovery; on offense, he was a "powerback" (fullback), primarily used in blocking situations; while he did not get to carry the ball, he did catch a 2-point conversion pass. He had 59 stops as a sophomore (33 solo, 16 for losses, 9½ sacks) and recovered one fumble, and as a freshman, he had 17 tackles (11 solo, 3 sacks). The school didn't keep track, but he had numerous quarterback hurries, forced fumbles and passes broken up. He was also the school's backup punter all four years, but was never called upon to punt in a game. Top games as a senior included a 6-0 win over Greeley West, when he was in on 11 tackles (eight solo), four for losses including three sacks, and a 21-14 win at Poudre, another 11-tackle game (six solo) and a sack. As a junior, top contests came in a 19-6 win versus Fort Collins (seven tackles, two sacks and an interception) and in a 38-21 win over Rocky Mountain (five tackles, all solo, with three sacks). Under coach Wayne Voorhees, Legacy was 31-13 in his four seasons (9-2 his senior year, 9-3 as a junior, 7-3 as a sophomore and 6-5 as a freshman). He also has lettered three times in track and will go for a fourth this spring, and despite his size, he is a sprinter with career bests of 11.1 in the 100-meter dash and 23.7 in the 200-meter. He also played basketball as a freshman and sophomore but did not letter.
ACADEMICS -- He is majoring in Communication at Colorado.
PERSONAL -- He was born November 5, 1990 in Rochester, N.Y. Hobbies include snowboarding, swimming, playing Xbox and hanging out with friends. Father (Larry) played tackle and linebacker at the University of New Haven.
More from our Sports archive: "ESPN's Chris Fowler and Twitter Nation on CU Buffs' humiliating loss to Fresno State."