Utah announced the suspension of defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley after a social media post displaying a text message showed he used a racial slur in 2013.

In a statement released to the media, Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan said he was made aware of the social media post on Wednesday and initiated a conversation with the university president. Harlan decided to suspend Scalley while the school reviews the matter.

Scalley admitted to using a slur in the text message and called it a “terrible mistake.” He states that immediately after sending the message he apologized to the recipient and his family.

“I am also heartbroken over the potential breach of trust with my fellow coaches, and with the young men in our program, both past and present,” Scalley said in his released statement. “I am truly sorry, and I own up to the hurtful effects of my choice.

“Through my actions and words going forward, I will demonstrate that my use of that slur in 2013 does not reflect or define who I am or what I stand for. My action is indefensible and I will use my voice and position to bring about meaningful and much-needed change.”

Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham said he was “disappointed and shocked” to learn of the text message.

“I take very seriously the hurt, pain and anger felt by African-Americans, and the power of words to inflict or deepen that pain,” Whittingham added. “Although this incident is inconsistent with the character and conduct of the person I have known and worked closely with for more than two decades, Morgan’s use of racist language is a very serious matter and I am supportive of the suspension while a more thorough outside review is conducted.”

Utah is coming an 11-3 season in 2019 and is scheduled to open its 2020 campaign against rival BYU on Sept. 3.