Utah State Players Opt Out Of Game vs. Colorado State Due To Comments From President
Aggies players have a meeting and decide not to play.
Were there inappropriate comments made?
Utah State’s game against Colorado State will not be played and it is not due to COVID-19. The Aggies players held a meeting and elected to not play.
This stems from comments from president Noelle Cockett that are were described by players that were directed at interim Head Coach Frank Maile’s religious and cultural background. The players were “dumbfounded” from the comments toward Maile who is a member of the prominent religion of the state of Utah as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
If these comments are true then there is a lot going on at Utah State and bigger issues than the football program not having a good 2020 year.
The players penned a letter and sent it to Brett McMurphy of Stadium to describe the situation.
“The Utah State football players have decided to opt out of our game against Colorado State due to ongoing inequality and prejudicial issues between the players, coaches, and the USU administration.
“On Tuesday, December 8th, the Utah State University Football Leadership Council held a zoom meeting with Noelle Cockett, President of USU, and John Hartwell, the Athletic Director. The purpose of the meeting was to have a say in the search for our new head coach. During the meeting, we voiced our support for Interim Head Coach Frank Maile. In response to our comments, their primary concern was his religious and cultural background. Players, stating their diverse faiths and backgrounds, then jumped to Coach Frank Maile’s defense in treating everyone with love, equality, and fairness.
“It is not the first time issues of repeated discrimination have happened. In December 2019, our head equipment manager used a racial slur against one of our African-American teammates. After disregarding the incident, pressure resurfaced to investigate in the summer of 2020. After the investigation, the administration concluded he would continue to be employed.
“We want our message to be clear that this has nothing to do with the hiring of Coach Blake Anderson, the recently-named head coach of the program. We are sure he is an excellent coach; we look forward to meeting him and his staff. We are highlighting the ongoing problems of inequality and want to create a better future for the community of Logan and Utah State University.”
Maile is making his second stint as interim coach so players like him and seemingly higher-ups in Logan.
Cockett did respond to these allegations and she feels here comments were not taken as intended, and it seems she wants to make things right with this situation.
“I am devastated that my comments were interpreted as bias against anyone’s religious background,” Cockett said in a statement. “Throughout my professional career and, especially, as president of USU, I have welcomed the opportunity to meet directly and often with students about their experiences.
“Regardless of how difficult the conversations might be in the coming days, I remain committed to giving our students a voice.”
With Utah State’s season over, it ends with a 1-5 record and a new head coach which is not yet official but is very likely to be Blake Anderson from Arkansas State.