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Utah State Responds After Football Players Opt Out Of Colorado State Game

Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium, home of the Utah State Aggies football team, is pictured in Logan on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah State University issued a statement after players on the football team opted out of the team’s next game against the Colorado State Rams.

On Friday, December 12, KSL Sports discovered that Utah State football players decided not to play against Colorado State following comments made by university President Noelle Cockett about interim head coach Frank Maile’s religious and cultural background.

KSL Sports received the following from Utah State University regarding the situation:

“Utah State University has canceled Saturday’s football game with Colorado State University amid concerns voiced by football players about religious discrimination during the search for a new football coach.

The university will take this time to meet with players and hear their concerns in an open dialogue so it can address them.

“I am devastated that my comments were interpreted as bias against anyone’s religious background,” USU President Noelle Cockett 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.”

USU also takes issues of racial discrimination seriously, including the incident mentioned in the statement about a USU Athletics employee. USU hired an outside investigator to look into the incident, and took disciplinary action.”

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

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

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

Are you an Aggie Athletics fanatic? Join Matt Glade on The Scotsman podcast for the most comprehensive coverage of Utah State Athletics. Find it wherever you find podcasts or on the KSL Sports app.