University of Connecticut (UConn) president Susan Herbst publicly condemned recent comments made by Ernest Jones, an assistant coach for the UConn football team.
Jones (pictured) said on Jan. 11 that he encouraged his players to put Jesus “in the center of our huddle.”
In an interview with The Courant, Jones stated: "We're going to make sure they understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle, that that's something that is important. If you want to be successful and you want to win, get championships then you better understand that this didn't happen because of you."
"This happened because of our Lord and Savior. That's going to be something said by [UConn Head Coach] Bob Diaco. That's something that's going to be said by Ernest Jones. That's who we are," added Jones.
UConn Athletics spokesperson Mike Enright told NBC Connecticut that Coach Diaco received several emails from fans about Jones' comment. Coach Diaco assured the public that organized religion does not have a role in the football program.
Additionally, Herbst wrote on Jan. 14 in The Courant:
It should go without saying that our employees cannot appear to endorse or advocate for a particular religion or spiritual philosophy as part of their work at the university, or in their interactions with our students. This applies to work-related activity anywhere on or off campus, including on the football field.
This applies to work-related activity anywhere on or off campus, including on the football field. Our athletic director and coach Bob Diaco agree wholeheartedly with me, and have made this clear to their staff.