This comes after Colorado State had announced earlier in the week that it had launched an investigation into its athletic department following a report alleging players had been told not to report Covid-19 symptoms or they would see reduced playing time.
“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.”
Parker’s statement said the pause includes all practices, workouts and team meetings. The statement also said that he had asked university President Joyce McConnell to expand the independent investigation announced earlier in the week to include a comprehensive review of the athletic department and football program regarding the 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,” Parker said. “We must and will address these allegations before we focus on playing football.”
On Tuesday, Colorado State announced it had begun an investigation into its athletic department following a report alleging players have been told not to report Covid-19 symptoms or they will see reduced playing time.
“I tell you all now that nothing is more important to me or to CSU than the health and well-being of our students. Nothing. They are our purpose and our responsibility, each and every one of them, whatever sport they play or major they declare.”
The investigation is being handled by McConnell’s office.
The Coloradoan report cited statements from multiple anonymous sources in the department. One current Rams football player told the paper, “I believe there is a cover-up going on at CSU … It’s not about the health and safety of the players but about just trying to make money off the players.”
Players dispute claims regarding coronavirus
Several Rams players disputed the claims in the report on social media Tuesday.
“We want every student-athlete to have confidence that we are taking every possible measure to ensure their safety, and we will continue working with the training staff, the athletic department and the University to evaluate and implement any additional steps necessary to live up to our high standards.”
Colorado State is scheduled to open its season at home on September 19 against Northern Colorado.