SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — University of the Pacific has forfeited their volleyball match against BYU after a fan was accused of making racist comments against Duke during a match on Aug. 26.
Mike Klocke, Senior Communications Director of The University of the Pacific released the following statement Monday night:
"The volleyball team has decided to not play the November 10 game at BYU. The team expressed concerns following reports of racist and hostile comments during an August 26 match. Pacific stands with our student-athletes."
During a match at Smith Fieldhouse in August, Rachel Richardson of the Duke University women's volleyball team reported hearing racist slurs shouted at her.
BYU athletic administration reported that their investigation, which lasted several days, said they found "no proof that a fan used any racial slurs during the match."
Officials with BYU sent 2News a statement Monday night following the announcement:
"The University of the Pacific’s decision to forfeit this week’s women’s volleyball match is unwarranted and deeply disappointing. Following the Aug. 26 allegation, BYU conducted an extensive review and found no evidence to corroborate this allegation. As we have stated previously, BYU will not tolerate any conduct that would make a student-athlete feel unsafe in our athletic environments. It is unfortunate that Pacific would make a decision that perpetuates the very challenge we are working to heal in our polarized society.
BYU continues to provide one of the best environments in college volleyball. The most storied programs in volleyball, both women’s and men’s, have competed for decades on our campus and expressed appreciation for their experience at BYU. We have hosted the NCAA Women’s Tournament for the past seven years in a row.
We recognize the real challenges of racism in our society, and we reiterate our strong belief that the solution is to work together in addressing these issues and not to separate from one another. We regret that Pacific elected not to work with us in addressing their concerns."
South Carolina and women's basketball coach Dawn Staley also canceled a home-and-home series with BYU over the allegations made during a Duke match.
“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. "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.”
Another report alleged racist slurs were made during a Brigham Young University women's soccer game in 2021.