After a turbulent season, Utah State University's football team has opted out of its season finale over comments made this week by school president Noelle Crockett over concerns on interim coach Frank Maile's religious and cultural background.
It is believed the school has hired Blake Anderson to be its next coach. Anderson has resigned from his current post at Arkansas State.
Crockett and Athletic Director John Hartwell met with players via videoconference earlier this week and discussed concerns of Maile, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The majority of players were concerned about the administration's bias against the interim coach.
In a written statement, it was said players from diverse faiths and backgrounds voiced support toward Haile. The team noted this was not the first time issues of discrimination occurred, last December an equipment manager allegedly used a racial slur against a Black player. After an investigation the staff remember was retained.
Gary Andersen was dismissed as head coach after three games, Hartwell cited a 'negative trajectory of the program'. Several players including starting quarterback Jason Shelley ultimately left the team. Utah State was scheduled to play Colorado State University and finishes the season with a 1-5 record. .