South Carolina basketball cancels series with BYU over racist incident

(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The South Carolina women’s basketball team has canceled its home-and-home series with Brigham Young University, coach Dawn Staley announced on Friday.

The announcement comes after Duke sophomore volleyball player Rachel Richardson, a Black member of the Blue Devils team, said she was subject to racist slurs directed at her at a match at BYU.

BYU has since apologized for the incident and Richardson said that players from the school have reached out to offer support.

While the Gamecocks were set to start the season at home against BYU on Nov. 7, Staley said in a statement that the incident was the reason for calling off the series. The team would have traveled to BYU next season.

“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s best for my players and staff,” Staley said in a statement released Friday by South Carolina. “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.”

The defending NCAA champions will now look for another home opponent to begin their season.

Athletic director Ray Tanner said he supported Staley’s decision. Meanwhile, BYU women’s basketball said that they are “extremely disappointed” in the decision to cancel the series and asked for patience as they continue to investigate the matter.

“We believe the solution is to work together to root out racism and not to separate from one another,” the statement read.