South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dwayne Staley had a “gut feeling” that led her to cancel the team’s home series against Brigham Young University.
“I slept a few nights and I woke up with the same gut feeling that I shouldn’t let us players are in that situation,” she said of her decision, according to The Associated Press (via ESPN.com).
The school announced Friday that it was canceling its original plan, after a Duke volleyball player said she was racially abused during a game against BYU steps to take afterwards.
“As a head coach, it’s my job to do what’s best for my players and staff,” Staley initially said. Say. “The events at Brigham Young University have made me reassess our home and home, and I don’t think this is the right time for us to be part of this series.”
The Brigham Young University women’s basketball team’s Twitter account said, “Very disappointed with South Carolina’s decision to cancel our series and ask for patience with the ongoing investigation.”
BYU Women’s Basketball@byuwbb
We are very disappointed in South Carolina’s decision to cancel our series and ask for patience to await the ongoing investigation. We believe the solution is to work together to eradicate racism, not separate from each other. #LoveOneAnother
In addition to the seriousness of the allegations, Brigham Young University’s handling of the matter has drawn some criticism.
Duke’s Rachel Richardson said game officials and members of the Cougars coaching staff “were told during the game this incident, but failed to take the necessary steps to deter unacceptable behavior and create a safe environment.”
Athletic director Tom Holmer said of his speech, “If you’re going to meet her, you’re going to love her,” referring to Richardson when addressing fans at BYU’s next home game. Some people have bad reviews. BYU Volleyball @BYUwvolleyball
BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmer addresses fans in attendance before tonight’s game. pic.twitter.com/UH0URY7Svx
Jemele Hill @jemelehill He needs to call it racism. Say it, don’t whitewash it. Second, if they knew about the black women targeting it, the whole feeling would be different… save it. Whether you know it or not, this is abominable behavior. https://t.co/l1koe0wKr5 Soledado O’Brien@soledadobrien This apology did not come to fruition. He had the opportunity to condemn racism, but he failed. She was not harassed because BYU students “did not know her.” Defamation is racist. This is a failure for the BYU Athletic Director. https://t.co/QVpNsjYpkK
Holmoe then wrote an op-ed in
Deseret News and affirmatively BYU finds “racism is disgusting and unacceptable”. He also defended the school’s response, saying four staff members and a police officer entered the student area during games to monitor the behavior of fans after BYU first received an alleged defamation warning.
“After the game, a Duke player found a fan shouting racist remarks,” he said. “He was escorted off the field and banned from future sporting events pending review. In addition, BYU continues to carefully review all event audio and video for any racist remarks or behavior.”
South Carolina and Brigham Young University were scheduled to play Nov. 7 at the Colonial Life Arena, home of the Gamecocks. The defending national champion has yet to announce a replacement.