BYU's Hall: 'Rivalry became personal'

BYU quarterback Max Hall has apologized for scathing comments he made Saturday about Utah's program and fans after the Cougars beat the Utes 26-23.

Hall said events surrounding last year's blowout loss at Utah fed his angst toward the Utes and their fans.

"I want to take the opportunity to clarify and apologize for a few of my remarks after the game yesterday," Hall said in a statement Sunday, according to the Deseret News of Salt Lake City. "Last year at [Rice-Eccles Stadium], my family was spit on, had beer dumped on them and were physically assaulted on several occasions. They had to endure extremely vile comments personally attacking my wife, my mother, other family members and our religion. They had to be escorted to their car by local police.

"As a result of what happened to my family last year, this rivalry became personal, and in the heat of the moment yesterday, I made comments toward the entire university that were really directed specifically at those fans in RES. It was not intended to be directed at the entire organization and all of their fans, and I apologize that it came out that way."

The Mountain West Conference issued a public reprimand for Hall on Monday.

"I don't like Utah. In fact, I hate them. I hate everything about them. I hate their program, their fans. I hate everything," Hall said Saturday. "It felt really good to send those guys home."

The Cougars (No. 14 BCS, No. 16 AP) beat the Utes (No. 25 BCS) for the third time in four years, and it was the last regular-season game of the senior's career.

"I think the whole university and their fans and the organization is classless," Hall continued. "They threw beer on my family and stuff last year and did a whole bunch of nasty things. I don't respect them and they deserved to lose."

Hall redeemed himself from a year ago, when Utah intercepted him five times in a 48-24 victory in Salt Lake City.

Hall, who was held to 134 yards on 12-for-32 passing, threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Andrew George in overtime, setting off a long celebration that covered the field with blue-clad, screaming fans.

"I have the upmost respect for Kyle Whittingham, his coaching staff and the Utah football players," Hall said in the statement. "I apologize to them and other members of the university for my comments. I'm also sorry if my comments took anything away from my teammates and coaches and our victory Saturday.

"The BYU-Utah game is a great rivalry, but no one should be treated the way my family was last year. I'm hoping that BYU and Utah fans can take steps to prevent future incidents at the game."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.