BYU football: Apology for hate rant wasn't coerced, Hall insists
Provo » Speaking to the media for the first time since his hate-filled postgame rant against University of Utah football fans on Nov. 28, BYU quarterback Max Hall insisted after practice Tuesday that the next-day apology and clarification came from him and was not coerced by school officials.
"I really meant what I said when I put out that [apology] statement," Hall said. "That wasn't something that they called me up and said that I needed to do. I actually called [BYU sports information director for football] Brett [Pyne] about it and said, 'Hey, listen, I got some stuff I want to say.' And they were nice enough to let me put out a statement, so that's really it."
Asked if the initial rant came out of frustration for how his family was treated at the 2008 Utah-BYU game in Salt Lake City, Hall declined to speculate.
"You know what, man? I put out a statement and I am done talking about it, so that statement is how I felt, and I just want to move on," he said. "I moved on a long time ago."
Hall said he talked to coach Bronco Mendenhall about it and "he gave me his support, and that was that."
Having said he hates everything about Utah and calling the entire university "classless," Hall said most of the reaction he has received has been positive and supportive.
"I don't really read a lot of stuff, or pay attention to that. But as far as phone calls, and people I have seen, it has been positive. It's been good. I have had a lot of support, like I said."
Hall and his brother-in-law, tight end Dennis Pitta , also found some humor in the well-publicized tirade 10 days after it happened.
With the All-American Pitta obviously listening in, Hall quipped that he just wished he had a tight end who could step up.
Then Pitta said, "How do you feel about Utah, Max? I haven't heard anything about it."
As Pitta walked away, Hall replied, "Oh that Dennis, what a character, huh?"
Unga to NFL?
Mendenhall said Tuesday that junior running back Harvey Unga has met with offensive coordinator Robert Anae to discuss his NFL Draft prospects and that the coaching staff has given Unga several contacts to get advice from regarding his pending decision to turn pro or not.
"But there isn't any decision that has been made to this point, and probably won't be until maybe after the holiday season," Mendenhall said.
BYU's team hotel in Las Vegas will be the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas strip. Oregon will stay at the Venetian. ... The Cougars will leave Provo on Dec. 18 and hold their first practice in Las Vegas on Dec. 19.
Las Vegas Bowl
Dec. 22, 6 p.m. MST, ESPN
Tickets: byutickets.com or unlvtickets.com