The University of Utah football program has cut the salary of its defensive coordinator in half after an investigation into his use of a racial slur in a 2013 text message.
Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley was suspended with pay June 5, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. The suspension ended this week, with Utah athletic director Mark Harlan and head football coach Kyle Whittingham announcing that they will keep Scalley on staff, according to a copy of the announcement shared on Twitter by ESPN 700.
“In our continuing efforts to work closely with our student-athletes to address issues of systemic inequity and racism in society, $100,000 previously directed to Coach Scalley’s compensation will be redirected to enhance programming and staffing support to the Athletics Department’s U.T.A.H Group (United Together Against Hate), a student-athlete forum launched in early 2019,” the statement reads. “We recognize the magnitude of this decision and the incredibly complex nature of these issues. We are grateful to all who participated in the review and who provided thoughtful and important information to evaluate. We also thank you for your patience during this process.”
Sports Illustrated released screenshots of the independent investigation report done by Husch Blackwell. Although he’ll keep his defensive coordinator job for a 13th season at Utah, Scalley will face repercussions. He’ll be required to participate in regular diversity and inclusion education through Utah’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team; have his annual salary decreased from $1.1 million to $525,000; and no longer be the head coach in-waiting.
Scalley will essentially go back to where he was in 2018, prior to signing a contract extension raising his salary from $525,000 to $1.1 million and prior Harlan verbally offering Scalley to be the next head coach of the Utes.
According to CBS Sports, there were several former players who said Scalley used derogatory language and “made comments about their appearance that they believed to be rooted in racial stereotyping.”
KSL Newsradio, located in Salt Lake City, reported that Scalley spoke during a Wednesday teleconference with media, apologizing for his “insensitivity and extreme lack of judgement.”
"My message is simple, but is sincere. And that is that I’m extremely sorry," an emotional Scalley said. "First and foremost, let me be clear, I’m against racism of any kind and am determined to take an active role at the university and in my community in being part of the solution and change. I want to apologize to the young men I’ve coached and am coaching currently.
"This has been a very fair and professional process, and I’m in complete support of the steps the university took to complete this investigation. Again, I want to apologize. ... I’m adhering to that same advice. I own up to my past conduct, and accept fully the consequences of that conduct. I’m committed to learning from this and becoming a better person, father, husband, mentor and coach."