The defending women’s basketball national champion South Carolina Gamecocks have canceled their home-and-home series with Brigham Young University over a racial slur a Duke volleyball player said was hurled at her by a crowd member at an Aug. 26 match in Provo, Utah.
“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s best for my players and staff. 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,” said South Carolina coach Dawn Staley, a Hall of Fame player who won three Olympic gold medals with Team USA and then won a fourth as its coach in 2020.
BYU’s women’s basketball account on Twitter responded with a statement.
“We are extremely disappointed in South Carolina’s decision to cancel our series and ask for patience with the on-going investigation,” the statement said. “We believe the solution is to work together to root out racism and not to separate from one another.”
Staley has won two NCAA championships at South Carolina, in 2017 and 2022.
BYU had not released its 2022-23 women’s basketball schedule, but South Carolina’s news release said the teams were supposed to play the Gamecocks’ season opener on Nov. 7 at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina.
The teams were scheduled to play at BYU in 2023-24.
BYU has been under fire since Duke outside hitter Rachel Richardson said she heard “a very strong and negative racial slur” from the ROC student section behind her the four times she served during a match in BYU’s Smith Fieldhouse on Aug. 26.