October 29, 2022
Content Warning: Sexual abuse
In light of the recent reporting by KSL News pertaining to an individual who was formally associated with the Utah Wild, the Utah Wild organization wishes to shed light on the steps already taken by the Board of Directors in line with our Code of Conduct.
Mr. J. Merrill was an assistant coach for the Wild during the 2021-2022 season. Pursuant to our contract terms, Mr. J. Merrill had not yet been retained for the 2022-2023 season. On September 16, 2022, the Board of Directors were made aware that Mr. J. Merrill had been temporarily suspended from coaching by USA Ultimate (USAU). In line with our Code of Conduct, the Board voted to not extend a new contract and temporarily suspend Mr. J. Merrill's involvement in all Utah Wild activities until the investigation by USAU was complete. On Oct 2, Mr. J. Merrill notified the Utah Board that he would be officially resigning from the Utah Wild.
The Utah Wild take accusations of sexual misconduct seriously and have a zero tolerance policy in regards to such accusations. In recognizing that sexual misconduct is deeply embedded in sports communities, specifically women’s sports communities, we are hopeful that our proactive actions demonstrate our commitment to standing with survivors of sexual assault and abuse. Utah Wild is in cooperation with the Utah Ultimate community as we commit to being a united front against sexual misconduct and are in communication with Timpview Ultimate leadership on how we can best support the players at this time.
We encourage our community, especially any survivors, to seek care in the case that this news is upsetting, triggering, or saddening and have included links to the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline below. For reporting specific to this case, please reach out to the Provo Police Department, information also below. If anyone has information that would similarly violate our Code of Conduct, whether regarding Mr. Merrill or another member of our organization, please contact our Board of Directors via email (email@example.com) or submit anonymously through the form below.
Utah Wild Board of Directors
Erica Bindas, Juliana Williams, Kendra Miller, Leah Smith, Mackenzie Perkett
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline: https://www.rainn.org/resources or 1-800-656-4673
Provo Police Department: https://www.provo.org/city-services/provo-police or 801-852-6210
Utah Wild Code of Conduct: https://www.utahwildultimate.org/post/reference-documents-and-policies
Code of Conduct Violation Reporting Form: https://forms.gle/zHfPuZwLAFLTVbfWA