SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 5, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — University of Utah athletics director Mark Harlan has suspended a coach after being alerted to racist language he used in a 2013 social media post.
Suspended “effective immediate” is Ute Football defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley.
Friday afternoon, Harlan released a statement:
“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,” Harlan’s statement says.
“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 our values, but it is an affront to all of us, especially our African-American community members. While the review of this matter is being conducted, I have placed Morgan on suspension effective immediately.”
Scalley also released a statement:
“In 2013 I made a terrible mistake,” it says. “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. 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.”
Scalley said he accepted 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.”
Football head coach Kyle Whittingham also weighed in.
“I was disappointed and shocked to learn this week of a text message sent by Morgan Scalley in 2013 that contained a racial slur,” his statement says. “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.”
Gephardt Daily will update this story as more information is released.