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Colorado State suspends all football activities pending a racism investigation

The Rams athletic director issued a statement asking the university to expand a previous investigation, and halting all practices and meetings around football.

Head coach Steve Addazio of the Boston College Eagles reacts during a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on November 23, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Update 8:52 p.m.: It looks like the university investigation is in response to a story in The Coloradoan that has yet to be published.

A school that was already struggling with their response to Covid-19, now apparently has a bigger issue that will pause all football activities.

From a statement from athletic director Joe Parker:

“Today, we learned of some extremely troubling allegations of racism and verbal abuse from CSU’s athletic administration generally and in the football program specifically.

Colorado State University is committed to being an anti-racist university, and we will not tolerate any behavior or climate that goes against that core value. Moreover, CSU Athletics is committed to the health and well-being of student-athletes above all other priorities, and this includes their mental health. We believe it is our responsibility to make sure that all student-athletes feel welcomed and valued as members of an inclusive athletics community.

I have consulted with President McConnell about these new allegations, which obviously deeply concern her as well. Effective immediately, and for the best interests of our student-athletes, I am pausing all football-related activities indefinitely. This includes practices, workouts, and team meetings. I have also asked President McConnell to expand the independent investigation she announced on Tuesday to include a comprehensive review of our athletic department and football program specifically related to allegations of racism and verbal abuse. While we have been working hard towards playing football this fall, the holistic well-being of our student-athletes is our unequivocal top priority. We must and will address these allegations before we focus on playing football.”

Whatever happened here sounds extremely serious, and as many FBS teams have headed back to practice in the last two days, it looks like CSU might not be preparing for a season anytime soon.

The Rams hired former Boston College coach Steve Addazio as their head coach in the offseason, replacing Mike Bobo following a 4-8 season that succeeded a 3-9 season in Fort Collins. The new on-campus Canvas Stadium has seen just three seasons of football, and is considered one of the best for any Group of Five team in FBS football. But it needs the projected ticket holders and fan support to pay for it.