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UAlbany Coach Reports Racist Comments

By Mattie Fitzpatrick | May 6, 2024

University at Albany men’s lacrosse head coach Scott Marr filed a formal complaint against a Merrimack lacrosse player who made a racist comment towards a UAlbany lacrosse player during a road match on April 21.

Great Danes head coach Scott Marr.

Photo Credit: UAlbany Athletics

Marr reported the racist rhetoric to the Intercollege Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) after the player reported it to him. Marr, who served as an assistant coach for the Iroquois Nationals Men’s team at the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Lacrosse Championship said to the Times Union that, “This is more than this one incident. This is an unfortunate incident, again, that happened on Sunday. I’m really just disappointed in some coaches around the country who are not talking to their players and [are] creating a culture of that kind of stuff to even happen to be honest with you.”

After the game, both teams refused to participate in the postgame handshake line. The player who made the comment, a senior, has since been removed from the team and Mike Morgan, the Merrimack men’s lacrosse coach, has resigned from his position, the school stated in a press release. The IMLCA and Merrimack College both declined to comment when the Albany Student Press reached out. 

Neither the Merrimack player nor the UAlbany player have been identified. The two teams faced each other again last Thursday in the semifinal round of the America East Tournament, where the Great Danes beat the Warriors by a score of 18-7, moving onto the final against Vermont on Saturday. 

Despite the length of time between the two games being so short, there appeared to be no bad blood between UAlbany and Merrimack, with both the two coaching staffs and the teams speaking amicably. “I think it was great,” Marr said. “I think it shows, again, some things went on the last couple of years, but there has to be a healthy respect when you play sports and sportsmanship is a big part of that. So the fact that, again, we were able to play this game clean and there was nothing dirty about it, no bad hits on either side, there wasn’t any kind of major trash talking going on. I think every athlete, every kid, every program, there’s always growth. You have to make growth from things. And it was a learning lesson for all of us.”

Merrimack athletic director Jeremy Gibson, who was present at the original incident, spoke to the TU on the remorse of the player after the fact, saying “I do want to say about the individual and the comment that was made, I think there’s also a recognition that sometimes in the heat of competition that come out of people’s mouths that don’t represent what’s in their heart. And I would say this is a very good young man who made a mistake and has been held accountable for that mistake and is taking accountability for having made the mistake. Hopefully there’s something for him to learn and he emerges in a really good place from all of this.”

Merrimack is leaving the America East to join the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference as a full member starting next year, so it’s possible that Merrimack and UAlbany will not face each other again on the field. 

This is not the only reported incident of racial abuse that Native American UAlbany lacrosse players have faced. In 2014, lacrosse players Lyle, Miles and Ty Thompson, who are Native American, reported racist taunts from a previous year’s match against Drexel. Morgan declined to address if there were any previous incidents in regards to Merrimack players.


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