Utah State cancels Colorado State football game after players vote not to play

Utah State has canceled Saturday night’s booked game at Colorado State due to concerns voiced by football players about strict segregation in the quest for another football trainer, the college said in a proclamation Friday.

The choice came after Aggies players said before Friday that they had quit the game in light of remarks supposedly made by Utah State president Noelle Cockett about between time mentor Frank Maile.

The school said it would meet with players to “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,” 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.”

The Mountain West Conference hasn’t yet managed the game a no-challenge, saying Friday night that it would decide the official remaining sometime in the not too distant future.

Arena detailed Friday that during a videoconference Tuesday with Cockett and Aggies games chief John Hartwell, Utah State’s football administration board campaigned for Maile to supplant previous mentor Gary Andersen, who was terminated after the group’s 0-3 beginning.

During that videoconference, as indicated by the Stadium report, Cockett purportedly voiced worries about Maile’s social and strict foundation. Maile, an Utah State graduate, is Polynesian and an individual from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is additionally the Aggies’ co-cautious facilitator and guarded line mentor.

As indicated by Stadium, an Aggies player led a study that got some information about Cockett’s supposed explanations. The report said that three-fourths of the Utah State players communicated concerns.

During a gathering Friday morning, the players casted a ballot consistently to not play in the game.

In an explanation gave to Stadium, Utah State’s players expressed: “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.”

Arkansas State mentor Blake Anderson surrendered on Thursday to become Utah State’s new mentor.

“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,” the players wrote. “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.”

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