Utah State football coach Blake Anderson spoke in generalities but defended himself publicly Tuesday when asked about a lawsuit filed against him and the school by a former player.
During an interview on KSL Sports Zone radio, the USU coach addressed the resignation of athletics director John Hartwell, as well as “reports” and “conversations that are being had” — veiled references to the lawsuit against Anderson and the university filed by Patrick Maddox, who says he faced retaliation for a recording he made of the coach and campus police chief making disparaging comments about sexual assault victims.
“I can’t let comments and allegations that are made outside, I can’t let those take me away from the job that I’m here to do,” Anderson said. “I have to trust the process and that the truth will ultimately be seen. That’s the best thing for me. I have complete confidence in how we’re doing things, why we do them, why we teach the way we do, what we expect from our kids, the level of accountability.”
Maddox filed a lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court and revealed that he recorded Anderson and former USU police Chief Earl Morris speaking with the football team last season. He hoped the recordings would strengthen a lawsuit filed by USU student Kaytriauna Flint, who alleged she was raped by another member of the football team in 2019.
Maddox told The Salt Lake Tribune he has no regrets about recording the meeting, but said felt he was forced to quit the team due to the treatment he received from his coach as a result.
Anderson on Friday released a statement on Twitter saying he would “vigorously defend” himself and the school against “false statements,” and he “care[s] deeply” about Maddox.
On Tuesday, Anderson said it’s difficult for him to “be silent when you really want to shout it from the rooftops.” He also said he is focusing on coaching the team and the remainder of the season as the legal process works itself out.
“Obviously we’re dealing with a tremendous amount of distractions. They’re coming from all sides,” Anderson said. “... I get there’s a ton of allegations being thrown around. But the best thing for me to do is continue to run our program in a way that honors God, and honors the people that hired me, and honors the name on the back of my jersey. And know that in time, in the right environment — not in the media, not in the social media — that the truth will come out. So I’m trying desperately to do that. That is not easy to do.”
Anderson added that he feels the public will understand his methods and reasoning in due time.
“The context in which I said things and the intent in which I did things and the reasoning behind it will all make sense,” Anderson said. “Right now they don’t to a lot of people and I understand that. But those things will see the light of day at some point, and I think every bit of it will make a tremendous amount of sense and people will understand.”