University forfeits volleyball game against BYU after false allegations
University of the Pacific forfeited its volleyball game against Brigham Young University after a false allegation in August accused a fan of racism.
The allegation was dismissed after an investigation.
University of the Pacific (UP) forfeited its Nov. 10 women’s volleyball game against Brigham Young University (BYU) citing an allegation of racism which was proven false in August.
BYU issued a statement on the forfeit, obtained by KSLSports, which stated:
“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.”
UP Senior Director of Media Relations Mike Klocke told Campus Reform in a prepared statement that “[t]he team expressed concerns following reports of racist and hostile comments during the August 26 match.”
The incident involved an allegation that a BYU fan shouted racist comments at a Duke player. However, the claim was unsubstantiated following an investigation.
BYU’s investigation reviewed camera footage and heard from more than 50 attendees.
“Pacific stands with our student-athletes,” UP’s statement concluded.
Luke Hanson, The Cougar Chronicle social media manager, told Campus Reform that “[t]he ongoing negative consequences of Richardson’s allegations would not have happened if enough people had responded in a mature and measured way.”
“Pacific needs to make it clear to whichever players don’t want to go that they need to grow up and keep their commitment to their team,” he stated.
UP is the second team to refuse to play BYU this season after University of South Carolina canceled its series earlier this season.
Campus Reform contacted BYU for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
Editor's Note: Thomas Stevenson is the co-founder of the Cougar Chronicle, a student publication at Brigham Young University who broke the original story.