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South Carolina’s Dawn Staley stands by cancellation of BYU series

Dawn Staley (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley is sticking with her decision to cancel her team’s series against Brigham Young University.

The decision came after a BYU fan allegedly directed racist slurs at a Black Duke volleyball player in August.

While the incident was being investigated, Staley opted to cancel the Gamecocks’ season opener against the school, as well as a second matchup planned for next season in Utah. Instead, South Carolina will play East Tennessee State to start the season.

In early September, BYU announced that an investigation found no evidence of racist heckling toward Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson. Still, Staley said she is standing by her decision.

“I exchanged information with BYU and Duke, and I still came to the same conclusion,” Staley said. “We’re just going to have to agree to disagree in this instance. Did (Richardson) come out and say that she apologized for hearing something wrong?

“That’s her story, and that’s what she’s sticking with. Until she comes out and says that — and I’ll be the first to apologize and say I’m wrong, but that has yet to come out, so that’s what I’m sticking with.”

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, BYU never signed the initial series contract between the two schools, which would have penalized a school $25,000 for pulling out of the series. A later contract, which upped that number to $100,000, was not signed by either school. As a result, South Carolina has said it will not have to pay a cancellation fee to BYU.

“The contract was not signed and finalized and was therefore not yet in effect,” South Carolina’s legal office told The Tribune in an email.

There are not any plans to reschedule the series.