Five members of the University of Southern Mississippi’s pep band will lose their scholarships after they chanted a racist question at a Latino player on the opposing team.
“The students have been forthcoming, cooperative, contrite and sincerely remorseful,” Vice President for Student Affairs Joe Paul said in a press advisory on Tuesday. “They acted rashly and inappropriately, and now see the gravity of their words and actions.”
A university investigation determined which five band member chanted “Where’s your green card?” at Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez on Friday as he prepared to shoot his free throws.
The Kansas State Wildcats went on to defeat the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles 70-64 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Rodriguez scored 13 points and led his team with 4 assists.
Southern Mississippi President Martha Saunders later issued an apology.
“We deeply regret the remarks made by a few students at today’s game,” a statement on the university’s website said. “The words of these individuals do not represent the sentiments of our pep band, athletic department or university. We apologize to Mr. Rodriguez and will take quick and appropriate disciplinary action against the students involved in this isolated incident.”
For his part, Rodriguez, a native of Puerto Rico, brushed off the offensive chant.
“I heard it,” he said. “I don’t pay attention to that nonsense, especially because Puerto Rico is a commonwealth, so we don’t need no type of papers.”
“Their athletic director and personnel from their school came to apologize, and I accepted it.”
Watch this video, uploaded by BuzzFeed on March 15, 2012.
(H/T: Think Progress)