University of South Carolina cancels games with BYU amid alleged racial slur incident with Duke – Fox News

University of South Carolina cancels games with BYU amid alleged racial slur incident with Duke - Fox News

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The recent supposed Duke-BYU women’s volleyball event now affects basketball season, which doesn’t start for almost another three months.

The University of South Carolina women’s basketball team canceled two games — one this year and one next — against BYU in response to the alleged incident.

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Head coach Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks receives the WBCA coaches trophy after defeating the UConn Huskies during the championship game of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Target Center on April 3, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Head coach Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks receives the WBCA coaches trophy after defeating the UConn Huskies during the championship game of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at Target Center on April 3, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
(C. Morgan Engel/NCAA photos via Getty Images)

Duke’s Rachel Robinson alleged that a fan subjected her and her Black teammates to racial slurs “for the entirety of the match” against BYU.

However, the claim received pushback from witnesses who say that they “heard absolutely nothing.

Despite the conflicting reports, Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley is comfortable with her decision.

“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s best for my players and staff,” Staley said in a statement released by South Carolina on Friday. “The incident at BYU made me reevaluate our home and home, and I don’t feel this is the right time for us to be involved in this series.”

A general view of LaVell Edwards Stadium before the game between the Utah Utes and the Brigham Young Cougars on September 9, 2017 in Provo, Utah.

A general view of LaVell Edwards Stadium before the game between the Utah Utes and the Brigham Young Cougars on September 9, 2017 in Provo, Utah.
(Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

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A BYU spokesperson told Fox News Digital that they confirmed Duke, in the third game, first said a slur was heard, but none were identified.

The person also said that four staff members and one uniformed officer spoke to the student section (the fan in question was a Utah Valley student), and no complaints were made by Duke for the remainder of the match.

BYU apologized for the incident and banned the fan in question, but the school said the person was ejected from the game for “interfering with guests,” rather than yelling insults at the players.

BYU officials and BYU police both did not confirm slurs were used, nor could they say if the person yelled in Richardson’s direction while she was working as she claimed.

A general view of LaVell Edwards Stadium before the game between the Utah Utes and the Brigham Young Cougars on September 9, 2017 in Provo, Utah.

A general view of LaVell Edwards Stadium before the game between the Utah Utes and the Brigham Young Cougars on September 9, 2017 in Provo, Utah.
(Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

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“Various BYU Athletics personnel reviewed video from BYUtv and other cameras in the facility, which the volleyball team has access to for film review. This has been ongoing since immediately following the game on Friday night,” BYU associate athletic director Jon McBride said in statement “The person who was banned was the person identified by Duke as using racial slurs. However, we were unable to find any evidence of that person using slurs in the match.”

A BYU athletics official also told the BYU student-run newspaper that the fan was mentally challenged.

“When a mentally challenged fan approached a Duke player, the Duke team then suddenly recognized the disabled man’s ‘voice’ as the same one shouting profanities,” the official said. “They never saw or showed a face, only a voice. They banned this man. Not for slander, but for interfering with visiting guests. BYU Athletics staff reviewed footage of the entire game and the man identified by Duke was never seated in the. student section. Her story doesn’t add up, BYU banned an innocent man to appease the crowd and clear their PR coffers. While I don’t know if Ms. Richardson really misheard something or made this story up on purpose, it certainly doesn’t make up for the criticism BYU has received . There is zero evidence of defamation being said. Not one witness, other than Ms. Richardson, came forward. Not one cell phone video or BYUtv’s multiple camera angles caught a single thing. How implausible when that person allegedly said defamation during ‘every single service.'”

NCAA Logos are presented during the Division I Women's Volleyball Semifinals held at PPG Paints Arena on December 19, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

NCAA Logos are presented during the Division I Women’s Volleyball Semifinals held at PPG Paints Arena on December 19, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA photos via Getty Images)

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According to a police report, however, someone left a threatening voicemail for a BYU coach on Sunday, and “got in the face” of a Duke player after the game on Friday and made the player feel “uncomfortable.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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