Kyle Whittingham

Utah football
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Utah suspends DC Morgan Scalley over 2013 text that contained racist language


Utah football is the latest to experience that what happened in the past can surface in the present.

This week, Oregon State dismissed tight end Rocco Carley after a racist audio recording came to light.  Friday, Utah announced that defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley has been suspended by the football program, effective immediately.  According to athletic director Mark Harlan, a 2013 text message that contained racist language triggered the suspension.

Below is Harlan’s statement, in its entirety:

On Wednesday night, I was made aware of a social media post that referenced a 2013 text message that included racist language, sent by our football program’s defensive coordinator, Morgan Scalley.  I initiated conversations with our campus partners, including President Watkins, and we agreed to have an outside firm review this matter, to seek further details and determine whether this was an isolated incident.

Coach Scalley and I have spoken.  He is very contrite and acknowledged that the text was sent and that it did include a derogatory and painful word.

The use of any form of racist language is not only antithetical to our policies and values, but is an affront to us all, especially our African-American community members.  While the review of this matter is being conducted, I have placed Morgan on suspension effective immediately.

Both Scalley and Utah head football coach Kyle Whittingham released their own statements as well.

In 2013 I made a terrible mistake. I used a racial slur in a text message. This language is offensive and hurtful to not only the African-American community, but to all. Immediately after sending it, I apologized to the recipient and his family. I am also heartbroken over the potential breach of trust with my fellow coaches, and with the young men in our program, both past and present.

I am truly sorry, and I own up to the hurtful effects of my choice,” Scalley continued. “Through my actions and words going forward, I will demonstrate that my use of that slur in 2013 does not reflect or define who I am or what I stand for. My action is indefensible and I will use my voice and position to bring about meaningful and much-needed change. I accept the University’s suspension, and will use it as a time to reflect on my insensitive comment from 2013 and how I intend to listen and grow from this situation. I am completely against racism, and this will never happen again.

I was disappointed and shocked to learn this week of a text message sent by Morgan Scalley in 2013 that contained a racial slur. I take very seriously the hurt, pain and anger felt by African-Americans, and the power of words to inflict or deepen that pain. Although this incident is inconsistent with the character and conduct of the person I have known and worked closely with for more than two decades, Morgan’s use of racist language is a very serious matter and I am supportive of the suspension while a more thorough outside review is conducted.

Below is what’s believed to be the social-media missive that set the wheels of suspension in motion.

Scalley has spent the past 12 seasons (2008-19) as part of the on-field Utah football coaching staff.  The two years prior to that, he was a Utah football staffer.  On top of that,  also played his college football for the Utes from 2001-04.  The only season he hasn’t been a part of the Utes program since 2001 as either a player, staffer or coach was in 2005.