August 4, 2020
Dear CSU Community,
An article published today reports some extremely serious and deeply troubling allegations about how CSU Athletics is handling public health precautions surrounding COVID-19. Quoting several student athletes and members of the Athletics staff, the story raises concerns about whether the health and well-being of our student athletes is truly the top priority of Colorado State University.
I tell you all now that nothing is more important to me or to CSU than the health and well-being of our students. Nothing. They are our purpose and our responsibility, each and every one of them, whatever sport they play or major they declare.
Effective immediately, I have launched an investigation into the concerns raised in the article. This investigation will come out of my office. It will move quickly, and I will transparently share the outcome with all of you.
Let me reiterate: the health and well-being of the CSU community is our top priority. That is why since the COVID pandemic began we have adhered to Centers for Disease Control guidelines and to state and county directives, and why we work daily with the local Larimer County Health Department. And that is why our institutional decisions during this time are led by the CSU Pandemic Preparedness Team and Public Health Office. Their decisions are informed by CDC recommendations designed to protect public health. They do not consult with non-public health units (e.g. research, sports, academics) in making those decisions.
When CSU Athletics experienced an outbreak of COVID cases amongst student athletes in July, the PPT and PHO shut down football, including all formal and informal practices, workouts, and team meetings. The CSU Athletics staff was clearly informed of the scope and timing of the shut-down and of our expectation that they would comply, in the interest of our student-athletes health.
We take the concerns of our student athletes extremely seriously. If we learn that there are any employees of CSU Athletics who do not share Colorado State University’s commitment to student health and well-being above all else, we will address the issue immediately.