USM revokes scholarships after students' racist remarks
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -
Five members of the University of Southern Mississippi pep band no longer have scholarships after taking part in a racist chant against a Kansas State basketball player at Thursday's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament game.
When freshman point guard Angel Rodriguez stepped to the free throw line in the first half, some members of the band began to chant, "Where's your green card?" Rodriguez is a Puerto Rico native. Video of the chant went viral after being posted on YouTube that same day.
In a prepared statement released Tuesday morning, USM said: "The University of Southern Mississippi has completed a review of the incident that occurred during last Thursday's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament game and is taking disciplinary action against five members of its pep band.
"The students have had their pep band scholarships revoked, have been removed from the band, and will be required to complete a two-hour cultural sensitivity training course this week.
"'The students have been forthcoming, cooperative, contrite and sincerely remorseful. They acted rashly and inappropriately, and now see the gravity of their words and actions,' said Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Joe Paul. 'This is a teachable moment, not only for these students but for our entire student body and those who work with them.'"
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