Gus Malzahn apologizes to female veteran for players’ alleged comments

Gus Malzahn reportedly has apologized for two Auburn players who allegedly harassed a female veteran. (AP photo)

Gus Malzahn reportedly has apologized for two Auburn players who allegedly harassed a female veteran. (AP photo)

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has apologized to a female Air Force veteran for comments she said two players recently made to her, WTVM and AL.com reported.

The Columbus station reported that Ashley Ozyurt, 25, who has PTSD as a result of being sexual assaulted while she was in the military, was recently harassed by two Auburn football players while on the way to class. She uses a service dog “to help her cope with PTSD,” WTVM reported.

Ozyurt declined interview requests from AL.com on Tuesday.

Neither AL.com or WTVM named the players, but a Facebook page called Service Dog Memes identified them by Nos. 79 and 95, who are freshmen defensive linemen from Georgia — Dontavius Russell (Carrollton) and Andrew Williams (Eagles Landing Christian Academy). The Sporting News identified them earlier this morning.

Here’s part of Ozyurt’s account of the story:

At 10:30am today I walked into the Halley Center on my way to class. As I was walking I heard people behind me whistling and making kissing noises at my service dog. I ignored it like I usually do for about 10 feet and they didn’t not stop. I turned around and said to two Auburn University football players “Please don’t distract my service dog.” Player number [omitted] moved towards me and proceeded to yell, “What do you want? HUH? Whats wrong with you, nobody’s bothering YOU. What are you gonna do? HUH?” I opened my mouth but no words could escape. My hyperventilating only seemed to fuel their verbal assault. When I didn’t speak, my service dog began to drag me away from the situation, one of them yelled, “THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT [expletive]!”

At that point, in front of dozens of people, my PTSD took over and I withered to a crying mess. I went to the nearest safe place, the Office of Accessibility and reported the student’s football numbers that they were wearing their FB sweat suits and backpacks. [omitted], the main attacker, and his hype man [omitted]. I attempted to attend my first class, but after 30 minutes of crying and humiliating myself further, I knew I needed to get home.

Ozyurt was profiled by WRBL last fall.


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