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After a scathing report in a local newspaper that accused Colorado State University football team staff of racism, CSU officials suspended football activity until an investigation is complete. The Coloradoan citing multiple sources alleges that more than 20 former and current athletes recall instances of racial insensitivity.

Former CSU Mental Health Counselor Jimmy Stewart said on record that the allegations are accurate. “In these types of closed systems where abuse is taking place, it’s hidden in plain sight; everybody knows the truth but they are afraid to address it because of the fear of losing their jobs or scholarships or being blackballed,” Stewart told the newspaper. “They are trying to manage the abuse, not stop it.”

The accusers say that the abuse came under the leadership of CSU Head Coach Mike Bobo and his successor Steve Addazio. Current players who claim to be seniors on the team with the support of the entire team defended their current coach in a Saturday statement.

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The statement said the accusations have “created an unfair and unstable environment” within the team. It also claimed that any allegations of racism or verbal abuse by the coaching staff are false.

“To the contrary, our experience since Coach Addazio’s first day has been positive, welcoming, and focused on our development as student-athletes. “To be absolutely clear, we have not experienced any racially insensitive comments to our teammates from the athletic department or coaching staff.”