March 20th, 2012
10:25 AM ET

Southern Miss takes disciplinary action against students for derogatory chant

Five members of the University of Southern Mississippi pep band have had their scholarships revoked and have been removed from the band after they yelled a derogatory chant at a Puerto Rican player during an NCAA basketball tournament game last week.

The school announced the disciplinary action in a statement Tuesday, saying the five "have been forthcoming, cooperative, contrite and sincerely remorseful."

"They acted rashly and inappropriately, and now see the gravity of their words and actions," Vice President for Student Affairs Joe Paul said. "This is a teachable moment, not only for these students but for our entire student body and those who work with them."

The students will also be required to complete a two-hour training course on cultural sensitivity, the school said.

TV cameras captured the incident during the University of Southern Mississippi-Kansas State University game at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

As Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez shot free throws, several people could clearly be heard chanting, "where's your green card."

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Filed under: Basketball • Kansas • Mississippi • Sports
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Sofa King

    Hard to get peppy after that.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. BOMBO ©

    Scholarship revoked, for that? Sure, this is a teachable moment. I think those kids learned that large organizations over-react to things where politics is involved. That's all that they learned.

    Being forced to take a cultural sensitivity course... Isn't that a bit like being forced to apologize? I'm sure their hearts will be in it.

    March 20, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • catteleya6

      be happy they didn't go after them for a hate crime. These 'children' were a disgrace to their school and a slap on the wrist was not appropriate. And fyi..the basketball player was Puerto Rican..which is part of the US if you didn't know.

      March 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar The Chorizo Chimp Of Chihuahua

    You kiddin' me? Being a band nerd for 5+ years brings much more ridicule, bigotry and derogatory treatment than being some Puerto Rican basketball player!

    March 20, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. Portland tony

    School definitely overreacted. Loss of funding ((scholarship) for yelling anything at a sporting event is hypocritical at best. They hold pep rallies just to get the kids hyped for the games. If the green incident had occurred some where else...yes they should be taken down. But trash talk during a game...that's Americana

    March 20, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • catteleya6

      sounds more like hate crime than just bball chants

      March 22, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    I would hope these students actually learned their lesson, only the future will tell. I would also hate to have those scholarships go to people who would be void of itelligence. What a waste that would be.
    Otherwise, lesson learned.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gutter

      You spelled "intelligence" wrong.

      March 21, 2012 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Darius

    This happened at a university and not a locker room.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darius

      America is becoming less tolerate of this kind of nonsense.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. The B

    I would have to say shouting that showed a void of intelligence in the first place..... 🙂

    March 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GOP21

    In the age we are in everyone must be prepared to have everything you say to be recorded. To the disciplined students good luck trying to graduate now your scholarships are gone. To the basketball player nothing your a athlete and they are band members

    March 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • catteleya6

      yes because we should all prepare to be ridiculed for our race at a basketball

      March 22, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. shari messenger

    it was a racial slur and should not go unpunished, however to loose their scholorship seems pretty harsh. but these hate crimes have to stop somewhere and everywhere we can.

    March 21, 2012 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. drew pittman

    the united states has run off the cliff with it's political correctness. revoking scholarships over trash talk at a basketball game is ridiculous

    March 21, 2012 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. Paul Hostilo

    I think losing their scholarships is rather harsh. Losing the privilege of being in the pep band is a proper punishment. Going to some sesitivity classes is a good idea. Having a child in a Pep band, I have been to games where I have seen worse things than this on signs in the stands. Not to trivialize this incident, but loss of scholarships may prevent these students from getting their degrees.

    March 21, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  12. Getoveritagain

    But..the question was never answered. Did the player have a green card?


    March 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. johnoh

    Certainly a valuable lesson. First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and expression are anathema to the academic world.

    March 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |