LOGAN, Utah — An investigation has found that neither Utah State University President Noelle Cockett nor athletic director John Hartwell expressed concerns over former interim football coach Frank Maile’s religious or cultural background in a Dec. 8 meeting with Aggie players.
The investigation, released by the Utah Board of Higher Education on Friday, also concluded that Maile’s background did not disqualify him as a candidate for the head coaching job.
“Instead, we conclude that the inclusivity concerns raised by Pres. Cockett were designed to promote a discussion with athletes about the degree to which they felt included and welcomed at Utah State,” the board’s report reads.
Cockett allegedly made comments about Maile during a videoconference that included many players and Hartwell. The meeting was held to discuss Maile’s candidacy for the head coaching job after Gary Andersen parted ways with USU.
The players took exception to Cockett’s comments about Maile’s religious and cultural background, prompting them to unanimously vote to not play the final game of the season.