Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley to remain on staff following investigation into text message

Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley will remain with the Utes following an investigation into a text message containing racist language, coach Kyle Whittingham and athletic director Mark Harlan announced. Scalley was suspended last month after Harlan was made aware of the text, sent in 2013, through a social media post. 

As part of the findings, Scalley will “engage with leadership” of Utah’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team, and “participate in regular and ongoing diversity and inclusion education.” He will also see his salary go down from $1.1 million to $525,000, the amount he received in 2018 before agreeing to a multi-year extension in December 2019. $100,000 of Scalley’s salary will also be sent to U.T.A.H. (United Together Against Hate), a student-athlete forum that started in 2019. Finally, his title as head coach-in-waiting has also been rescinded. 

The investigation found that “almost all” of the current and former student-athletes interviewed were “shocked” at learning that Scalley used a racial slur in the text message and didn’t report hearing Scalley make racial slurs in the past. Numerous athletes added that they did not view Scalley as racist. 

However, two former players reported that, prior to 2013, Scalley used the words “Black ass” when addressing a player during practice and several former players reported that Scalley made comments about their appearance that they believed to be rooted in racial stereotyping. One former player said that, prior to 2013, Scalley used a racial slur towards him, though no one else could corroborate this allegation. Scalley denied all of those accusations. 

Scalley admitted to making a “terrible mistake” by sending a racial slur that was “offensive and hurtful to not only the African-American community, but to all.” Scalley added that he immediately apologized to the recipient of the message after it was sent. It is not clear to whom the message was sent. 

“I am truly sorry, and I own up to the hurt effects of my choice,” Scalley said in his statement. “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.”

The 2020 season will be Scalley’s 13th at Utah under Whittingham. 

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