Ike Larsen is ‘frustrated as hell’ with Blake Anderson’s firing and reconsidering future with Utah State

Since former USU head coach Blake Anderson was fired, Larsen says he and his teammates have been left in the dark about the situation.

Las Vegas • Ike Larsen says he’s been shut out by Utah State University.

The entire Aggie football team, the team’s star safety says, has been without information regarding head coach Blake Anderson’s contract termination for an alleged noncompliance with the school’s Title IX policy.

Alongside Anderson, former deputy athletic director Jerry Bovee and director of player development Austin Albrecht were also fired for “violations of university policies related to the reporting of sexual and domestic violence and failures of professional responsibilities.”

Last Tuesday, Larsen said he was asleep in bed when he received a phone call about jumping on a Zoom meeting, which later broke the news to the team that Anderson was being fired for Title IX violations. Since then, no player has been allowed to talk to their former head coach, according to the junior safety.

Utah State has made defensive coordinator Nate Dreiling the interim head coach and it also fired executive associate athletics director for internal affairs Amy Crosbie on July 8, which left Larsen even more shocked and angry at the situation.

“To be honest, I’m frustrated as hell,” Larsen said. “I’ve put a lot into this program.

“It’s just the fact that on a Tuesday morning (we found out), and we couldn’t even get a text the day before. It was ‘Hey, get on a meeting’. It just got poured on us in one day. We don’t have any idea what’s going on. We still don’t have any ideas, obviously. It doesn’t sit right with me. I’ll be the one to say it, and if I get in trouble, I get in trouble.”

Anderson recently hired well-known college sports attorney Tom Mars, based out of Rogers, Arkansas, to appeal his firing. Mars indicated to The Salt Lake Tribune on July 8 that he intends to release Anderson’s termination letter and a summary of USU’s investigation to the public before Tuesday, July 16, which is Anderson’s deadline to appeal his termination within a designated 14-day window.

When asked if he had any knowledge of the alleged misconduct that occurred in the Spring of 2023, Larsen paused before acknowledging he couldn’t say anything on the matter. From his perspective, any situations that have happened since he’s been on the team have since been resolved.

“Every, quote-unquote, situation that has happened has been resolved and taken care of as far as our knowledge,” Larsen said. “And if it wasn’t, why wasn’t it taken care of in 2023? … That’s where I’m just confused. If it happened last year, take care of it last year, not six weeks before the season.”

Redshirt senior quarterback Spencer Petras spoke highly of Anderson on Wednesday at the annual Mountain West Media Days. Petras transferred to the Aggies from Iowa in January because of Utah State’s former head coach, and — despite Anderson’s termination — he reaffirmed that he will not be re-entering the transfer portal.

“The last thing that we should do right now is to question our belief in ourselves or try to jump ship,” Petras said. “We have too many good players to do that.”

When asked if he or the team is operating as if Anderson will be reinstated in the future, Petras noted that he had no knowledge of the situation.

“I don’t know,” Petras said of Anderson potentially being reinstated. “I’m kind of taking it day by day. That might be a question for (interim head coach) Nate Dreiling or (athletic director Diane Sabau) or someone else.”

While Petras re-affirmed his commitment to the Aggies, Larsen is reconsidering his future with the program. The only reason didn’t transfer from USU this offseason, he said was because of the relationship he had with his head coach.

“S---, I’m going to be honest and not going to sugarcoat anything,” Larsen said. “I’m turning down money to stay here and this happens.

“I mean you have to take that into consideration. … We could have an amazing year, but they could also bring in a whole new coaching staff. That’s always hard, so you have to look at that. I have two years left. Do I want to stay one or do I want to stay for two? There’s a lot of stuff that I’m still trying to figure out for my own well being.”