SPORTS

Utah State University interim coach calls for investigation of racial bias

Dec 13, 2020, 2:53 PM
USU Interim Head coach Frank Maile...
Utah State Aggies interim coach Frank Maile watches the game with the Fresno State Bulldogs in Logan on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. (Photo credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Photo credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah State University Interim Head Football Coach Frank Maile called for an “independent investigation of religious, cultural, and racial discrimination throughout Utah State University” in a letter sent to members of the media. 

Allegation of religious and cultural bias at Utah State University

Maile raised concerns about a recent meeting held by Utah State President Noelle Cockett and Athletic Director John Hartwell. During the meeting, Cockett reportedly told members of the USU football team and the team’s leadership council that she did not consider Maile for the position of head coach “because of concerns that my religion and Pacific Islander culture would negatively impact the University’s future football program,” Maile wrote in the letter sent to the media.

On Saturday, Utah State University officially announced that former Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson had been chosen to lead the Aggies football team as head coach.

Utah State University student-athletes respond to comments

KSL Sports reported that the Utah State football team decided not to play against Colorado State this weekend because of comments the players said were made by USU leadership during a Zoom call regarding Maile’s religious and cultural background. This decision by the athletes not to play was reported extensively by Brett McMurphy, described as a college football insider for the Stadium sports network.

McMurphy reports that the decision not to play was made after an “anonymous, players-only survey.”  He reports that approximately three-quarters of the students on the call were concerned about statements made by USU President Noelle Cockett.

Students responding to the survey emphasized they did not want their decision to reflect any statement about Anderson, their new head coach. 

Rather, they said, “We are highlighting the ongoing problems of inequality and want to create a better future for the community of Logan and Utah State University,” according to Stadium reporter Brett McMurphy.

Allegation of previous discriminatory comments at USU

In the letter sent to Stadium, USU football players cited a previous incident of discrimination. They said in December 2019, “our head equipment manager used a racial slur against one of our African-American teammates.” After an investigation, the equipment manager retained his job.

In a statement sent to KSL Sports, Cockett said she was “devastated that my comments were interpreted as bias against anyone’s religious background.” She says she is “committed to giving our students a voice,” presumably about alleged racial or religious bias demonstrated by USU leadership.

Interim coach thankful for students and their actions

Maile called for a thorough and independent investigation of religious, cultural and racial discrimination throughout Utah State University.

He said he felt “heart-broken” for the senior players of the team who decided not to play in the last game of their college football career. 

“I want to express my [utmost] respect and admiration for their decision to stand up for what they believe in — and I am truly honored that they would stand up for me.”

Related stories:

Lawsuit claims Utah State University discriminated against student with Down syndrome

 

Today’s Top Stories

Sports

The luge and bobsled track will be in use for the World Cup....
TIM REYNOLDS, AP Sports Writer

Olympic luge champ Natalie Geisenberger expecting 2nd baby

Olympic luge champ Natalie Geisenberger of Germany is pregnant with her second child. Geisenberger has won the last three Olympic women's luge gold medals and is considered by many to be the most dominant athlete in her sport's history.
2 days ago
Salt Lake County is working to make sure its golf courses don't use as much water in the drought....
Martha Harris

Salt Lake County says it has decreased water-use on its golf courses

Salt Lake County says it has back water usage on its golf courses. The county says it has done by changing how they water.
5 days ago
Utah Falconz team members cheer in celebration...
Mark Jackson

Women’s football team Utah Falconz heads to national championship

Utah's semi-pro tackle women's football team, the Utah Falconz, will head to Texas on June 26 to face off against the Texas Elite Spartans.
21 days ago
boys soccer Utah injuries...
Becky Bruce

High school boys’ soccer put on probation for the high number of ejections

SALT LAKE CITY — The growing number of ejections in high school boys’ soccer prompted the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) to issue a yellow card, of sorts, for the sport. In soccer, a player or coach is ejected when they receive a red card. In such situations, a substitute for the disqualified player […]
23 days ago
FILE - United States gymnasts from left, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nich...
ED WHITE Associated Press

Simone Biles, other women seek $1B-plus from FBI over Nassar

The approximately 90 claimants who said they were sexually assaulted include Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, all Olympic gold medalists.
28 days ago
Figure skate age Olympics...
Associated Press

Figure skating minimum age rises to 17 before 2026 Olympics

The age limit will be phased in with 16-year-olds allowed to compete in the 2023-24 season. It will then rise to 17 for the season before the Olympics.
29 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Utah State University interim coach calls for investigation of racial bias