South Carolina cancels BYU games over incident


South Carolina and women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley have canceled a home-and-home series with BYU over a recent incident where a Duke volleyball player said a Cougars fan yelled racial slurs at her.

The Gamecocks were scheduled to start the season at home against BYU on Nov. 7, then play at the Utah campus during the 2023-24 season.

But Staley cited BYU’s home volleyball match last month as reason for calling off the series.

“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 has led me to reevaluate our home-and-home, and I don’t feel that this is the right time for us to engage in this series.”

Duke sophomore Rachel Richardson, a Black member of the school’s volleyball team, said she heard racial slurs from the stands during the match.

BYU apologized for the incident and Richardson said the school’s volleyball players reached out to her in support.

South Carolina said it was searching for another home opponent to start the season.

Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner spoke with Staley about the series and supported the decision to call off the games.

A tweet posted on the BYU women’s basketball account on Friday night said “we are extremely disappointed in South Carolina’s decision to cancel our series and ask for patience with the on-going investigation. We believe the solution is to work together to root out racism and not to separate from one another.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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