In the wake of last Saturday's Utah-Air Force football game, some Falcon players are accusing the Utes of making racial slurs on the field, but Ute coach Ron McBride isn't buying it.
"There's no way," says the coach. "Most of the guys on our defense are brown or black. I talked to three or four of my defensive players, and they said absolutely not. Something could have been said during the game, but I don't know . . . It's not a big issue."In a Scripps Howard wire story, Air Force quarterback Jarvis Baker said he was shocked by the racial slurs used by Utah's defensive players during the Utes' 20-13 victory. Six starters on Utah's defense are black.
"What absolutely shocked me was this was a team with a lot of black athletes," said Baker. "What I'd like to see happen is for the black players on their team to stand up and be responsible for saying something. If it ever happened on a team I played on, it wouldn't take another team to tell me to get my team together."
Baker said racial epithets were used by Ute defensive players throughout the game, but he didn't elaborate. Several of his teammates supported the charges. Air Force linebacker Vergil Simpson said he heard no racial slurs from Utah's offensive players. However, Simpson said there was taunting from the Utes.
Utah linebacker Preston Christensen also noted after Saturday's game that there had been a lot of talk on the field, but by both sides. Christensen said the Utes were angry about a local newspaper story in which an Air Force player said his team was due for a rout against Utah. After the game, Ute players taunted fans as they left the field.
"They were just thinking we were a Cub Scout pack; they had beaten us for nine years," said McBride. "Heck, one of their players kicked our guy right in the (crotch). If I worried about everything that was said during a game . . . ."
STATUS QUO: Most observers expect quarterback Frank Dolce to return to the starting lineup this week after missing 21/2 games with a sprained knee. "We'll probably make the final decision late in the week," said McBride. Dolce and Mike McCoy split time running the first unit during Monday's practice.
Whoever the quarterback is, he'll miss tackle Russ Dailey this week against Fresno state. Dailey, a three-year starter, sprained a knee against Air Force and will be sidelined for at least two weeks. Dailey will be replaced by Cecil Thomas, a 6-foot-4, 283-pound junior.
Darren Castain, a versatile 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior, will make his first start of the season this week at outside linebacker. Castain, who has been severely hampered the last two years by back problems, has played safety, nickelback and linebacker for the Utes.