Provo • Charges from a member of the San Diego State football broadcast team on his sports talk radio show last week that Brigham Young University players routinely make racial slurs during athletic events are totally false, BYU's athletic director said Monday.
"We feel confident that the things that he said are not true," said BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe.
Chris Ello, a color analyst for radio station XTRA Sports 1360 in San Diego, included allegations of racism in an anti-BYU rant Thursday after learning that a BYU employee worked in the replay booth Oct. 9 during the Cougars' 24-21 win over the Aztecs. The booth botched a call that led to BYU retaining the football after an obvious fumble. Ello said BYU was "100 percent hypocritical" and had "no honor," among other derogatory statements. Ello apologized Friday for some of the remarks, saying he was emotional and frustrated, but did not back away from his accusations about racial slurs.
"I have talked to dozens and dozens of San Diego State players over the years who will tell you without fact, or without argument, that BYU is the dirtiest, slimiest, most ill-behaved football team that they play every single year," Ello said Thursday. "The racial comments that are delivered during games [by BYU players] … would get people arrested in most parts of the world."
Brian Wilson, program director at the station, did not return phone calls Monday. Ello worked Saturday's SDSU game against Air Force.
Holmoe said BYU officials are "disappointed" in Ello's comments, but said nothing would be done from their end.
"What he said is uncalled for," Holmoe said. "But that's San Diego State's issue, and the radio station's issue. If I went and tried to clean up everything untrue that was said about BYU, I would be at it a long time."
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said he had not heard about Ello's rant when asked about it at his weekly Monday news conference.
Holmoe also voiced displeasure about a blog post on the station's website that Ello, who is white, made 18 months ago in which he compared Provo to Birmingham, Ala., in the 1960s and said he feared for his well-being while walking down the town's streets. "I believe that we have done a lot of good, and we have a lot of people that have come to us, and said how great the experience has been to be at BYU," Holmoe said. "Call and ask Florida State, if you want to talk about how people are treated by BYU. We try to have our actions speak for themselves."
Mendenhall said BYU defensive back Carter Mees suffered a shoulder injury Saturday against TCU and was to have an MRI performed Monday to determine the extent of the injury. … Linebacker Jordan Pendleton (sprained knee) likely will not play Saturday against Wyoming, but could be available after the bye week against UNLV. Saturday's Game
Wyoming (2-5) at BYU (2-5), noon
TV: The Mtn.