A college football coach in Michigan was suspended Monday after he told a student news site that he’d like to have dinner with Adolf Hitler.
Grand Valley State University said in a statement that it would conduct an investigation into comments made by the offensive coordinator, Morris Berger, NBC affiliate WOOD-TV reported.
The announcement came on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which also marked 75 years since the Nazi-run Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp was liberated by the Soviet army in 1945.
A full transcript of Berger’s comments were published Sunday by the Grand Valley Lanthorn.
In an interview with the site's sports editor, Berger — whose hiring was announced last week — was asked what historical figure he’d most like to have dinner with.
“This is probably not going to get a good review, but I’m going to say Adolf Hitler,” Berger said, according to the newspaper. “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," Berger continued. "Bad intentions of course, but you can’t deny he wasn’t a great leader.”
The editor responded: “The way he was able to get people to rally around him was crazy.”
“Yeah, that’s definitely one,” Berger replied.
President John F. Kennedy and Christopher Columbus were his second and third choices, he added.
Grand Valley State, which is west of Grand Rapids, said Berger's comments do not reflect the school’s values.