Mike Bobo says he has nothing to hide from his days as the Colorado State head football coach.
Now the South Carolina offensive coordinator, Bobo for the first time Thursday addressed allegations he mistreated players and was racially insensitive during a virtual news conference Thursday.
“I take offense that anybody as a member of our team or coaching staff or support staff that they were treated racially insensitive or there might have been abuse,” Bobo told reporters.
Allegations against Bobo and CSU’s athletics staff surfaced in a report recently published by the Fort Collins Coloradoan. CSU athletic director Joe Parker announced the football program would be paused while an independent investigation looks into the accusations.
In the wake of the report, South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said his department would look into the claims. Bobo waited until Thursday to address them on his own, “out of respect to Coach Tanner and their inquiry,”
Here’s a full statement from Bobo:
“As far as me and my family, it’s been a difficult time because of who I am and how I treat people,” Bobo said. “At the same time, I’ve been very grateful of the support that I’ve received from family, friends, former players, former teammates, guys that I’ve coached, parents, and guardians. It has been overwhelming. I just want to say thanks to those people and I love them.
“Personally, one thing that it has made me realize is it’s made me want to be a better person, better father, better husband, better brother, better teammate, a better friend. When you read those things you realized you’ve done some good things, but you can do better. In regarding this issue I’ve met with Coach Tanner and part of his administrative staff about this shortly after the article came up. I was completely transparent and honest about every question that came my way. I have nothing to hide. I understand Coach talked with several players on our football team and talked to some people at Colorado State.
“Again, I’ve been completely transparent and have nothing to hide in the ongoing investigation that Coach has put forth. In saying all of that, I want to say I’m not perfect. I’ve never claimed to be perfect. I’ve never claimed to be a guy that has the answers to everything. I loved my time at Colorado State. My family loved our time at Colorado State. It’s a bottom-line business and we didn’t win enough games. I wish I could go back and change some of the things and decisions I made as a head coach to help us win some more games and do the job I came to do with my staff.
“At the same time, I take offense that anybody as a member of our team or coaching staff or support staff that they were treated racially insensitive or there might have been abuse. One thing I can say is that we were a family and loved each other. I can honestly say I treated people the way I would like them to treat my child; hold them accountable and hold them to a high standard and love them. In saying all of that, I’m excited about being here at South Carolina. I appreciate the support from Coach Tanner and the administration and Will during this time. We’ve been on the practice field for two days now and we’re starting to find an identity with this offense as we move forward to get ready to play Tennessee. As far as that, that’s going to be my comments on that situation.”
Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp came to Bobo’s defense earlier this week, dismissing the allegations out of hand.
“Those claims to me are completely absurd,” Muschamp told reporters Monday. “I’ve known Mike since 1993. He doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. That’s really all I’ll comment at this time. I look forward to commenting further, but I don’t want o give the article any more credibility because it doesn’t deserve any.”