SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has suspended defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley for using a racial slur in a 2013 text message.
Utes athletic director Mark Harlan said in a statement Friday that he was made aware of a social media post that referenced the text message. Since the announcement, former players have used social media to either express support for Scalley or to share other incidents with the coach in which they felt racially targeted.
Utah will have an outside firm review the matter for more details and to determine whether it was an isolated incident. Morgan will be suspended until the review is completed.
“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,” Harlan said.
Morgan acknowledged use of the slur and apologized in a statement released by the school.
“In 2013 I made a terrible mistake,” he said. “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.”
Scalley has been an assistant at Utah for 13 years, the past five as defensive coordinator. He signed a large contract extension in December 2019 which many viewed as unofficially designating Scalley as head coach in waiting.
“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,” head coach Kyle Whittingham said in the school’s statement.