BATON ROUGE, La. – Clearly, that frequent scowl of Dawn Staley was not there.
Her No.1 and undefeated South Carolina women’s basketball team had just come back from a double-digit deficit to beat No. 9 LSU, 76-70, before a sellout crowd of 13,205 mostly unfriendly fans Thursday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
“Actually they were nice, they were calling me, Boo,” Staley said and laughed.
Not even a question by OutKick about her continued, stubborn reluctance without grounds to not re-schedule Brigham Young University because of an alleged racial slur by a fan at a volleyball game at BYU in 2022 angered her.
But it did surprise her.
South Carolina’s Dawn Staley Stunned By BYU Question
“Where did that come from?” a stunned Staley asked and raised her right arm high as if to say, “Out of nowhere.”
Staley, who subsequently canceled games against BYU in response to the volleyball incident, has not had any comment on the situation since a few weeks after the story broke in September of 2022. OutKick asked on this night if she still did not want to schedule BYU after more than two years to look back on it.
“That’s grabbing something from the air,” she said.
“Is that a no?,” OutKick asked. There was no answer.
South Carolina (18-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) likely would still be undefeated had it played BYU in Provo, Utah early this season as originally scheduled. BYU is 12-8 and 2-5 on the season after going 16-17 and 9-9 last season.
On Aug. 26, 2022, in Provo, Utah, BYU beat Duke, 3-1, in a college volleyball game. Duke freshman player Rachel Richardson said a BYU fan shouted racial comments at her, and soon the story went viral, and Staley canceled the BYU game from her team’s schedule for the 2022-23 season as well as this season.
Soon after, though, BYU Police said they were unable to confirm that a fan or anyone had yelled such slurs. BYU associate athletic director Jon McBride said BYU banned the accused fan identified by Duke as saying the slurs from any future BYU volleyball matches.
“However, we have been unable to find any evidence of that person using slurs in the match,” McBride told the Salt Lake City Tribune.
The South Carolina Freedom Caucus of more than 12 state lawmakers spoke louder about the behavior by Staley and South Carolina. It sent a letter dated Sept. 15, 2022, to Staley, athletic director Ray Tanner and the university asking for clarification on the decision to cancel the series with BYU. They called that decision an “ill-advised overreaction to an apparent erroneous claim,” in the letter.
Dawn Staley, South Carolina Rushed To Judgment Vs. BYU Fan
“Given the totality of the circumstances, it seems the University of South Carolina rushed to appease the loudest voices of the far left by ‘canceling’ BYU both literally and figuratively without respect for the truth,” the caucus continued in the letter. “It is our opinion the university acted arbitrarily and capriciously without consideration or regard for the facts and circumstances.”
But Dawn Staley held her ground then.
“I exchanged information with BYU and Duke, and I still came to the same conclusion,” she said after that on Sept. 29, 2022, to the Greenville News. “We’re just going to have to agree to disagree in this instance. Did (Richardson) come out and say that she apologized for hearing something wrong? That’s her story, and that’s what she’s sticking with. Until she comes out and says that – and I’ll be the first to apologize and say I’m wrong – but that has yet to come out. So, that’s what I’m sticking with.”
Richardson has not made any such comments since.
South Carolina said in 2022 that Staley would have no more comments on the matter. And she held to that on Thursday night.