Colorado State players write letter as team suspends operations, expanding investigation into allegations

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    Mettre à jour: Des membres de l'équipe de football de l'État du Colorado ont commencé à publier samedi une lettre ouverte à la communauté CSU, offrant un soutien à l'entraîneur Steve Addazio et niant les allégations de racisme et de violence verbale.  La lettre indique que l'équipe, et les seniors en particulier, "soutiennent sans équivoque Coach [Addazio] et son personnel. "

“To be completely clear, we have not received any comments insensitive to racism from the sports department or the coaching staff,” the letter said. The group goes on to say that “false allegations have been made by people not associated with our current football team” and requested that questions regarding the culture at CSU be directed to them, “and not anonymous sources and old coaches who have an ax to grind. . ”

Check out the full letter below, which was shared by multiple players via social media with the hashtag #CSUunited

Original story

Just days after several soccer players and Colorado state staff claimed there was a COVID-19 test cover-up issue in the soccer program, the Rams face yet another crisis .

Colorado State Sporting Director Joe Parker announced on Friday that all football-related activities are on indefinite suspension, pending an investigation into what Parker called “extremely disturbing allegations of racism and verbal abuse by the CSU sports administration in general and in the football program in particular ”.

Parker said in a statement that the allegations would be dealt with “before we focus on football.” The break from football activities includes practice, practice and team meetings.

“We believe it is our responsibility to ensure that all student-athletes feel welcomed and valued as members of an inclusive athletics community,” Parker said.

Investigation into allegations of racism and verbal abuse joins another investigation into allegations that the football program did not follow COVID-19 protocols, although other members of the program and representing the university have strongly disputed these claims. the Fort Collins Coloradoan reported on Tuesday that players and staff say coaches told players not to report symptoms, threatened them with wasting playing time and said the school was amending contact tracing reports to reduce the number of positive tests.

“I believe there is a cover-up at CSU,” said one current player who chose not to be named. “But they could only cover it for so long and now that we have so many cases in athletics, they can’t hide it anymore. It is not about the health and safety of the players, but just trying to make money with the players. . ”

The allegations prompted Colorado State President Joyce McConnell to launch the initial investigation, which she promised Wednesday “to go quickly.”

“I’m telling all of you now that nothing is more important to me or to CSU than the health and well-being of our students,” McConnell wrote in a letter. ” Nothing. They are our goal and our responsibility, each of them, whatever the sport they practice or the adult they declare. ”

Parker and coach Steve Addazio have said in statements released by the university that they will “accept” and “support” the investigation.

Among the allegations made by these players and coaches is the fact that Addazio, who is in his first year as a coach, and defensive coordinator Chuck Heater are reluctant to wear their masks.

“We had a player who definitely had symptoms of coronavirus coughing in training and he wasn’t wearing a mask and I was next to him, touching him and there was spitting up and sweat,” one said. player. “I told him he needed to get tested but he really didn’t want it because then he would be away. The next day, he is not in training. [If he tested positive] he had already spread the virus. This is why a lot of players do not feel safe during football training. ”

An anonymous staff member, who was one of 10 players and staff interviewed, also raised concerns about the state of the program.

“There are red flags in the sports department, but the common thread with this administration is to protect the coaches before the student-athletes and that makes them feel more like cattle than student-athletes,” said the staff member.

Several players have taken to Twitter to challenge claims made by players and anonymous staff in the story.

Parker commented on the current COVID-19 testing program: “This [athlete] The population is the most tested population here, but obviously some feel that is not enough work to put them at ease when it comes to their health. If so, we’ll have to amplify it. ”

Colorado State Associate Athletic Director for Communications Kyle Neaves also released a statement challenging the nature of the reporting.

Voluntary training was suspended on July 29 after 27 players missed training due to COVID-19, according to the report. Those numbers rose after a number of soccer players, as well as players from other sports, attended a party on the weekend of July 4. Parker agreed the incident likely led to an increase in positive cases.

Addazio went 44-44 in seven years at Boston College from 2013-19 before being fired after the season. It’s safe to say he didn’t really like himself among the current players.

“I think everyone could do a better job,” said one player. “But for our coaches to tell the players not to tell the coaches if they have symptoms because we’ve had so many guys out, that’s wrong. “

        

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