USU, Mountain West, Colorado State quick in condemning CSU student chants at Max Shulga

Utah State guard Max Shulga goes to the basket in front of SMU forward Samuell Williamson during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

FORT COLLINS, Colorado – In the waning minutes of Utah State’s men’s basketball victory over Colorado State on Saturday – which took place in Fort Collins – a small group of Rams student supporters chanted “Russia” at Aggie guard Max Shulga, a native of Ukraine, whose family still resides in the country currently under attack by the Russian state.

The chant was caught on the broadcast microphones and can be faintly heard during a pair of free throws Shulga attempted late in the game.

Colorado State responded Saturday night to the reports with a statement condemning the actions and apologizing for the conduct of those students.

Rams head coach Niko Medved also apologized for the behavior, saying he has “so much respect for (USU basketball) and Max Shulga.”

On Sunday, Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez released a statement regarding the incident, saying the conference “will not condone degrading, disrespectful, or discriminating behavior in our arenas, stadiums or playing fields.” Nevarez further said the conference “acknowledge(s) Colorado State’s response to the conduct and we stand with them and our fellow Mountain West member institutions in our unwavering commitment to ensuring that all of our venues are safe and inclusive and that every student-athlete and coach feels respected and safe.”

Also on Sunday, Utah State released a statement as did Max Shulga. The statement from USU Athletics said the actions from the students on Saturday “was inappropriate and unacceptable” and said that they “appreciate the Colorado State administration and basketball staff for not condoning such behavior.”

The statement released by Max Shulga, done through Utah State’s social media accounts, also thanked Colorado State administration and Medved for “immediate support and understanding” following the game which included reaching out and apologizing for the behavior. Shulga said that though the chant was “extremely upsetting in the moment, I also know how emotions can run high during competition and people can do and say things they do not really mean.”

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  • Pete February 7, 2023 at 8:11 am Reply

    These students mocking the attempted genocide of a country should be expelled

  • Jeff Brown February 7, 2023 at 4:56 pm Reply

    Zero consequences for the offending students.

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