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Utah State Football Players Opt Out Of Playing Game Against Colorado State

Utah State sophomore linebacker David Woodward (left-center) makes one of his career-high 20 tackles during the 14th-ranked Aggies' 29-24 win at Colorado State on Nov. 17, at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah State football players opted out of the team’s upcoming game against the Colorado State Rams, a source with knowledge of the situation told KSL Sports.

Colorado State was slated to host USU at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado on Saturday, December 12.

“Utah State’s players have opted out of Saturday’s game at Colorado State because of comments by university President Noelle Cockett on Tuesday voicing her concerns about interim Head Coach Frank Maile’s religious and cultural background, Stadium has learned,” Stadium’s Brett McMurphy reported.

The team issued the following statement to Stadium:

“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.”

Earlier this season, USU’s game at Wyoming was canceled.

The contest was Utah State’s final scheduled game of the regular season.

After starting the season 0-4, the Aggies won their first game of the season against the New Mexico Lobos.

Utah State followed up the victory with a loss to the Air Force Falcons.

The Aggies own a record of 1-5 in 2020 and sit in 10th place on the Mountain West Conference standings.

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