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Utah AD Responds To Incident Between Ute Fan, Arizona State Player

Defensive back Evan Fields #4 of the Arizona State Sun Devils runs onto the field before the NCAAF game against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Sun Devil Stadium on August 29, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah athletic director Mark Harlan responded to an incident between a Ute football fan and an Arizona State football player following Utah’s 21-3 win over the Sun Devils.

The AD put out a response via Twitter on Thursday, October 24.

“We strongly condemn the behavior of the individual who directed such hatred toward an Arizona State student-athlete,” wrote Harlan.

“There is no place for such behavior from anybody who represents Utah Athletics directly or indirectly. On behalf of all Utes, I want to offer my apologies to Evan, his family, athletic director Ray Anderson, head coach Herm Edwards and the Arizona State football program. We have already begun to look into the identity of the individual to immediately address this behavior. We encourage all who support the Utes to be respectful and civil in demonstrating their support; Utah Athletics will not tolerate behavior that expresses such hatred,” Harlan finished.

Fan/Player Incident

During the Arizona State vs. Utah game on Saturday, October 19, Sun Devil defensive back Evan Fields was ejected for a targeting penalty on a play where Fields attempted to tackle Utah running back Zack Moss and made helmet-to-helmet contact.

Moss was quickly helped by the Utah medical staff and spent a handful of minutes lying on his back while he responded to the trainers and underwent concussion protocol.

He returned to the game later that drive and scored a touchdown.

On Wednesday, October 23, Fields said the targeting was unintentional and Moss being okay following the hit was “the most important thing.”

According to Fields’ mother, one Utah fan reached out to her son via Twitter direct message after the game with “a horrible hate message.”

GM, I’m offended by a fan who DM my son a horrible hate message,” wrote Evonnda Fields. “We all get a lil emotional over our fav teams & players but student-athletes r still kids in our adult eyes & they have parents that them just as U your 2 sons Dr. A.J. Proctor@proctordental. LEAVEMINEALONE.”

Evonnda Fields Tweet

Courtesy of @evonndaf on Twitter

Following Harlan’s statement, AJ Proctor or @ajpro82, issued an apology for the message via Twitter.

“Dear Evan, I want to publicly offer you, your family, the ASU and Utah Football teams (and quite honestly everyone) an apology for the completely inappropriate message that I sent to you via Twitter on Sunday, October 20, 2019,” Proctor wrote.

“I am ashamed for my behavior and do not feel that it was appropriate in any way. I will also accept the consequences of my actions. I let the emotions of an athletic event bring out the worst in me. I will never be able to undo that message, but I hope others will see this incredible mistake and know that social media should never be a tool for sending negative messages. We should be focused on building each other up. I clearly did not understand that about social media. I have already begun seeking helping to learn to better control my emotions on my behavior. I wish you the best going forward. I wish you and the ASU football program continued success in all you do,” Proctor finished.

Coach Apologizes Post Game

Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards apologized to Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham for the hit on the field after the game was over.

“First of all, I told Coach Whittingham that I’m embarrassed with our football team when it came to the fouls,” Edwards said. “We lost our composure and I don’t believe in doing that kind of stuff. I’ve never been involved in a game where a team had 12 fouls. For some reason, we just lost our composure. That’s not the way we play and I apologized to him.”

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