The University of Utah reinstated defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley on Wednesday but levied punishment against him after an investigation into Scalley’s use of a racial slur in a 2013 text message.
Athletic director Mark Harlan announced that Scalley’s salary, which was due to jump to $1.1 million annually, will go back to the previous $525,000 for this year. The school also removed the designation that Scalley was the head-coach-in-waiting for whenever Kyle Whittingham exits.
“This is a very significant matter,” Harlan said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. “We are in charge of young people, we’re in charge of their development, and our behavior as leaders always counts. Obviously, the consequences that are here are significant and because the matter is significant.”
Scalley apologized Wednesday, saying, “I’m particularly mindful of the young men of color whom I have had the blessing of coaching. I understand that my insensitivity and extreme lack of judgment have caused some, if not all of you to lose trust and faith in me. I sincerely hope that you will give me the opportunity to gain that trust back.”
The report issued by Kansas City, Mo., law firm Husch Blackwell indicated that, in addition to the racist message that was sent to a recruit, several players said Scalley used racial language or stereotypes. One former Utes player maintained that Scalley used the N-word during a practice before 2013, but no others confirmed that report, and Scalley denied it.
Scalley deemed the investigation fair, adding, “I own up to my past conduct, and accept fully the consequences. I’m grateful for Mark and Coach Whit in allowing me this opportunity to show them I can be better and (getting to) be back on the team and coach these young men is enough for me and I appreciate that.”
Harlan said, according to ESPN, “A man is not judged solely by moments in time. A man is judged by the body of his entire work, and this does not take away anything of the seriousness of what we’re talking about here. Believe me, I was flat-out angry when it happened, not pleased with everything in the report at all, but also lifted by the qualities that were shown by so many of our young men about what they like about Morgan. The consequences here are more than appropriate.”
Whittingham said, according to the Tribune, “I believe we have a very good culture and there’s always room for improvement. We’ve had several good team meetings throughout these last three weeks, and we’re always looking for ways to get better. We’re absolutely striving to become better, and that will never stop. That’s a moving target we’ll never be satisfied with.”
Scalley, 40, is entering his 13th season on the Utah staff and his fifth as defensive coordinator. He was an All-America safety for the Utes as a senior in 2004.