FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Several Colorado State football players released a shared statement on social media to support head coach Steve Addazio and dispute accusations against the program.
The Rams have paused all football activities after a recent investigation started by the president of the university into the program’s handling of COVID-19 cases uncovered allegations of racism and verbal abuse toward athletes.
In a statement released Saturday, the players addressed several issues, including the allegations of racism and verbal abuse they said are “patently untrue.” It included the hashtag “CSUunited.”
“Our experience since Coach Addazio’s first day has been positive, welcoming and focused on our development as student athletes,” the statement read. “To be absolutely clear, we have not experienced any racially insensitive comments to our teammates from the athletic department or coaching staff.”
The letter also said “the last number of days has created an unfair and unstable environment within our football team.”
Director of athletics Joe Parker said Friday that he asked president Joyce McConnell to expand the investigation she announced Tuesday to include a comprehensive review of the athletic department and football program.
“It is clear to us the false allegations have been leveled by individuals who are not associated with our current football team,” the letter read.
The players concluded their letter with: “We know the truth. Ask us, not unnamed sources and former coaches who have an ax to grind. Through our shared goals, our commitment to Coach Addazio and his staff, our energy and focused purpose, this team is confident we will and can achieve to a great degree with Coach Addazio and his staff.”
Addazio took over the program in December after spending seven seasons with Boston College. The Rams were scheduled to open the season Sept. 19 by hosting Northern Colorado, but the Big Sky Conference voted this week to push back its football season to the spring.