ALLENDALE, Mich. — Grand Valley State University (GVSU) has parted ways with offensive coordinator Morris Berger.
Berger was recently suspended after he said he'd like to have dinner with Adolf Hitler, according to the university's communication office.
GVSU said the decision for the resignation was a mutual agreement but Berger sent us an email that said he was forced to resign.
The controversy with Berger started last week when he was interviewed by the sports editor of the university's school paper, the Lanthorn.
The interviewer, Kellen Voss, asked him: "If you could have dinner with three historical figures, living or dead, who would they be? And I’m ruling out football figures."
Berger responded: "This is probably not going to get a good review, but I’m going to say Adolf Hitler. It was obviously very sad and he had bad motives, but the way he was able to lead was second-to-none. How he rallied a group and a following, I want to know how he did that. Bad intentions of course, but you can’t deny he wasn’t a great leader."
Head football coach Matt Mitchell responded to the resignation in a release from GVSU.
“Nothing in our background and reference checks revealed anything that would have suggested the unfortunate controversy that has unfolded. This has been a difficult time for everyone," said GVSU head football coach Matt Mitchell.
"I accepted Coach Berger’s resignation in an effort for him to move on and for us to focus on the team and our 2020 season,” Mitchell added.
Berger was hired as Grand Valley State University's football offensive coordinator on Jan. 20. He also released a statement following his resignation.
“Over the last 11 years I have taken great pride in the responsibility and privilege of being a teacher, coach, mentor, and a valued member of the community. I was excited and proud to be at Grand Valley, and am disappointed that I will not get the opportunity to help these players in 2020. However, I do not want to be a distraction to these kids, this great university, or Coach Mitchell as they begin preparations for the upcoming season.”
Berger also wrote an open letter on Twitter saying his comment was insensitive.
Berger, according to ESPN, was previously on staff at Oklahoma State from 2017 to 2018 and was at Missouri before that.
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