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Utah suspends Morgan Scalley for using racial slur in 2013 text

Utah has suspended defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley after it emerged earlier this week that he used a racial slur in a 2013 text message.

The content of the text was not revealed, though it won't be difficult to infer upon reading the following statements.

Here is Utah AD Mark Harlan:

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.

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham:

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.

And Scalley himself:

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.

It appears the text resurfaced after Scalley posted a tweet on Sunday responding to the George Floyd killing.

After the suspension surfaced, former Ute cornerback Ryan Lacy appeared in the same thread accusing Scalley of calling him the N-word in a 2008 practice.

Friday's suspension comes hot on the heels of an explosive week in college football. Oregon State tight end Rocco Carley was dismissed from the team after audio surfaced of him making racist statements in private conversation, and Clemson tight ends coach Danny Pearman was revealed to have used the N-word toward tight end D.J. Greenlee in a 2017 practice.

"Three years ago on the practice field, I made a grave mistake involving D.J. Greenlee. I repeated a racial slur I overheard when trying to stop the word from being used on the practice field," Pearman said. "What I overheard, I had no right to repeat."

Scalley is Utah football in many ways. A second-team All-American safety for Utah's undefeated 2004 team, Scalley has worn Ute colors for all but one season dating back to 2001.

A finalist for the Broyles Award and the FootballScoop Defensive Coordinator of the Year award, he signed a contract extension in December that marked his second extension in the 2019 calendar year.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.