The BYU women’s volleyball team went up against the Duke women’s team but the game itself, tragically, is not the most memorable part of the night. The game was overshadowed by accusations of racial slurs being yelled from the BYU student body. Duke identified a student who they believed was the source of the yelling so he was banned from all BYU sporting events. This young man was later identified as a UVU student.
Rachel Richardson, Duke’s server, says that some BYU fans, “heckled throughout the entire game.”
Upon hearing this BYU sent a BYU police officer out to watch for any inappropriate behavior or language from the student body. In the BYU police report the officer states, “During the game and while I was standing on the sideline between the Duke players and the R.O.C. section, I didn’t hear or observe any inappropriate comments or language from the R.O.C. section,” R.O.C. standing for “Roar Of the Cougar.”
Luke Hansen, a reporter and student at BYU, says, “The volleyball people … were up till midnight that night. They immediately went back to the tapes, were asking around, looking at where this happened and couldn’t find any evidence.”
In a statement from BYU Athletics, they affirmed their belief that all people are “children of God.” They go on to say, “When a student-athlete or a fan comes to a BYU sporting event, we expect that they will be treated with love and respect and feel safe on our campus. It is for this reason BYU has banned a fan who was identified by Duke during Friday night’s volleyball match from all BYU athletic venues.”
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that “Police talked to the man, who’s identified in the report as a Utah Valley University student, and he denied shouting any slurs; he said the only thing he yelled was that the players ‘shouldn’t hit the ball into the net.’”