The Washington Post

NCAA tournament: Southern Mississippi disciplines pep band mambers for heckling Kansas State player with racist taunt

View Photo Gallery: Angel Rodriguez (No. 13) was the target of a racist chant in an NCAA tournament game last week.

Five members of the University of Southern Mississippi pep band have been disciplined for heckling a Kansas State player with a racist chant during an NCAA tournament game Thursday in Pittsburgh.

The students’ scholarships were revoked, they were kicked out of the band and must complete a two-hour cultural sensitivity training course.

The university apologized to point guard Angel Rodriguez, who was born in Puerto Rico, after he was taunted with a “Where’s your green card?” chant in the Wildcats’ 70-64 victory. He accepted the apology, saying he paid no attention to that “nonsense, especially because Puerto Rico is a commonwealth, so we don’t need no type of papers.” Video of the chant went viral.

“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,” Dr. Joe Paul, vice-president for student affairs, said in a statement released by the school. Dr. Joe Paul said in a statement. “This is a teachable moment, not only for these students but for our entire student body and those who work with them.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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