Mississippi College Disciplines Students Who Yelled Racist Chant During Basketball Game

Five students at the University of Southern Mississippi are kicked off the pep band for their taunting of a Puerto Rican ball player from Kansas State University.

Posted: 03/20/2012 07:14 PM EDT

In the aftermath of a racist incident that garnered national attention last Thursday, five members of the University of Southern Mississippi pep band have been disciplined for taunting a Kansas State University basketball player during an NCAA tournament game.


The university issued an apology to the player, Angel Rodriguez, who was born in Puerto Rico.
During the game, members of the pep band shouted chants to Rodriguez, yelling, "Where’s your green card?"


The incident drew national attention and video of the scene attracted considerable viewership online.


The university revoked the students' scholarships and they were removed from the band. In addition, they have been required to complete a two-hour cultural sensitivity training course.


In a statement, Joe Paul, the vice president for student affairs at Southern Mississippi, said, "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."


He added, "This is a teachable moment, not only for these students but for our entire student body and those who work with them."


Rodriguez said he accepted the apology, explaining that he devoted no attention to what he described as "nonsense." He added, because Puerto Rico is a United States commonwealth, "We don’t need no type of papers."


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(Photo: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

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