Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - Page updated at 03:22 p.m.

The disturbing story behind the last great UW team — and how its legacy still casts a shadow on the Huskies

The 2000 Huskies, winners of the Rose Bowl, stand as the UW's last great team. But an unprecedented look behind the scenes reveals an unsettling level of criminal conduct that was often excused or overlooked. Mistakes made then still haunt a program trying to rebuild. Read more about this project.


One player: UW tight end Jerramy Stevens, left, had repeated run-ins with the law but suffered few consequences. He's shown here celebrating with teammate Marques Tuiasosopo after the Rose Bowl victory on Jan. 1, 2001.

The coach: Rick Neuheisel rarely handed out harsh discipline when players got in trouble.

The athletic director: Barbara Hedges, who retired under fire, left behind a scandal-ridden athletic program.

The prosecutor's office: Dan Satterberg and his boss were caught by surprise when police arrested Jerramy Stevens.

Chapter 1

Convicted of assault and accused of rape, star player received raft of second chances

Jerramy Stevens, the Huskies' star tight end, was arrested in July 2000, accused of raping a UW freshman on Greek Row. Prosecutors were livid over the arrest. "They were mad that we had arrested him, because they had to deal with the media fallout," a detective said.

Web extra | Attorney Mike Hunsinger: key player in Huskies' defense

Sources for this story

Project credits


Jerramy Stevens caught 43 passes in the 2000 season, putting together the best year of any tight end in school history. He won team offensive MVP honors three times and was named a second-team All-American.

HUSKY FOOTBALL 2000 | Summer

On the field: A buzz surrounds the UW's football team. Media pick the Huskies to win the Pac-10. The AP's preseason poll ranks them 13th in the country.

Off the field: In July, Seattle police arrest UW tight end Jerramy Stevens on suspicion of rape.

HUSKY FOOTBALL 2000 | September

On the field: Sept. 2: Washington 44, Idaho 20 | Sept. 9: Washington 34, Miami 29 | Sept. 16: Washington 17, Colorado 14 | Sept. 30: Oregon 23, Washington 16

Off the field: Police and prosecutors clash over the handling of the Stevens investigation.

HUSKY FOOTBALL 2000 | October through the postseason

On the field: Oct. 7: Washington 33, Oregon St. 30 | Oct. 14: Washington 21, Arizona St. 15 | Oct. 21: Washington 36, California 24 | Oct. 28: Washington 31, Stanford 28 | Nov. 4: Washington 35, Arizona 32 | Nov. 11: Washington 35, UCLA 28 | Nov. 18: Washington 51, Washington St. 3 | Jan. 1, 2001: Washington 34, Purdue 24

Off the field: Prosecutors say Stevens won't be charged with rape. Stevens hits a car on I-5 and drives off, but is given only a ticket.

Chapter 2

Key UW linebacker played entire season after his bloody print was tied to shooting

The public knew nothing about the Pharms case. The search warrant was sealed. The investigation crept along. DNA testing took nine months.

"If you have a Husky or a Seahawk as a defendant, people want to believe the best of their sports heroes," former prosecutor Steve Fogg says. "That's true in somebody's living room, that's true in the jury room."

Sources for this story


Jeremiah Pharms, above, scoops up a fumble during the UW-Colorado game Sept. 16, 2000.

HUSKY FOOTBALL 2000 | Jeremiah Pharms

On the field: Pharms recorded 46 tackles in the regular season. He shared the team's defensive MVP honors in each of the last four games running up to the Rose Bowl.

Off the field: Pharms was under investigation by Seattle police. He was suspected of shooting a drug dealer and stealing his stash of marijuana.

Chapter 3

To Huskies fans a tragic hero, to the courts a wanted felon

Curtis Williams came to the UW in 1996. He didn't play his first year, to preserve his eligibility. He didn't play his second year, because of a jail term. He became a special-teams standout in 1998 and later became a starting safety.

Teammates loved Williams' ready smile, the way he joked around. But his wife saw a different side. "He has told me not to tell anyone what happens," she said, "but I cannot take it anymore."

Web extra | Safety Hakim Akbar: "I tried to play with no fear"
Web extra | Defensive lineman Jerome Stevens: his wedding came first
Web extra| Offensive lineman Rock Nelson: played with injuries, lives with regrets

Sources for this story


Curtis Williams moved to defense after arriving as a tailback. As a safety, he became a pro prospect.

HUSKY FOOTBALL 2000 | Curtis Williams

On the field: Curtis Williams started at safety for the first eight games. He had 55 tackles, putting him among the team's leaders.

Off the field: Up until the seventh game, a warrant was out for Williams' arrest.

Chapter 4

Linebacker discovered joy of learning but had to buck football program that emphasized eligibility, not education

Football player Anthony Kelley arrived in Seattle ill-prepared for the college classroom. But the encouragement of an assistant coach and the enthusiastic assistance of a tutor led him first to a quarter of study in South Africa — then to a passion for learning.

When Kelley returned from his first study-abroad quarter, he asked professors for lists of books he should read — not for class study, but simply to learn. "I was opening up to this new world," he says.

Epilogue | Emmert: "You can win, and you can win properly"

Web extra | Backup quarterback J.K. Scott: "For me, it was bittersweet"
Web extra | Where they are now: Some fall to tragedy, others rise to success


Kelley began to emerge as a player during the Rose Bowl season, twice winning defensive MVP honors.

HUSKY FOOTBALL 2000 | Anthony Kelley

On the field: Kelley played in every game, twice winning team defensive MVP honors. Against California, he sacked the quarterback twice and forced a fumble.

Off the field: Kelley applied for a Mary Gates Scholarship, for money to study abroad. He became the first football player to win the honor.

Table of Contents



Seattle Times Special Reports and Investigations

Miracle Machines: The 21st-Century Snake Oil
The Times has found that thousands of these devices, many of them illegal or dangerous, are used in venues nationwide.

The Favor Factory
The Times examined relationships between those who benefit from earmarks and those who make campaign donations to lawmakers.

Confronting Malaria
A look at the Gates Foundation's billion-dollar initiative to eradicate malaria.

Pike Place Market
Seattle's Pike Place Market turns 100 this year.

Your Courts, Their Secrets
Sealed records hold secrets of potential dangers in our medicine cabinets; of molesters; of missteps by local agencies.

License to Harm
The state allows hundreds of doctors, counselors, and others to keep practicing despite their sexual misconduct.

The Bering Sea
The Bering Sea is seeing dramatic changes due to global warming.

Olympic Sculpture Park
An interactive guide to Seattle's new park.