Dawn Staley Cancels South Carolina’s Games vs. BYU After Incident at Volleyball Game

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IISeptember 2, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - MARCH 31: Head coach Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks speaks to reporters following a practice session with the team at Target Center on March 31, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The South Carolina Gamecocks will play the Louisville Cardinals on April 1, 2022. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

South Carolina women's basketball head coach Dawn Staley has canceled her team's home-and-home series with BYU in the wake of Duke women's volleyball player Rachel Richardson being subjected to racist slurs and threats at a recent match at the university.

“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s best for my players and staff," Staley said in a statement. "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 national champions were scheduled to open the 2022-23 season on Nov. 7 at BYU before traveling to Provo, Utah, for a game during the 2023-24 campaign.

Richardson, a sophomore, released a statement on Twitter in which she said she and other Black teammates were "targeted and racially heckled throughout the entirety of the match" and that officials and BYU coaching staff "failed to take the necessary steps to stop the unacceptable behavior and create a safe environment."

She also said officials did not "adequately address the situation immediately following the game" when the matter was brought to their attention, though she praised BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe for his actions after he was notified.

rachel ♡ @rachrich03

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/morethanavolleyballplayer?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#morethanavolleyballplayer</a> <a href="https://t.co/JJsofA6VgI">pic.twitter.com/JJsofA6VgI</a>

The Gamecocks are working on finding a replacement team to play Nov. 7. They will open the season with an exhibition at home versus Benedict on Oct. 31, and their first road game is set for Nov. 11 at Maryland.