Political debate roils South Carolina after cancellation of BYU women’s basketball games

South Carolina state lawmakers are arguing over University of South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley’s determination to cancel a scheduled two-game collection with Brigham Young University women’s basketball staff.

The South Carolina Freedom Caucus, which incorporates over a dozen state lawmakers, despatched a letter to Staley and University of South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner asking for clarification on the choice to cancel the collection with BYU. They mentioned it appeared to be an “ill-advised overreaction to an obvious inaccurate declare.”

Staley introduced the withdrawal of the Gamecocks from a home-and-home collection with the Cougars one week after a Duke women’s volleyball participant mentioned racial slurs had been yelled at her from the gang throughout a recreation in Provo.

“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s finest for my gamers and employees. The incident at BYU has led me to reevaluate our home-and-home, and I do not really feel that that is the proper time for us to have interaction on this collection,” Staley mentioned in an announcement posted Sept. 2.

BYU’s women’s basketball respondedsaying they had been “extraordinarily disillusioned” and requested for “endurance with the on-going investigation.”

Now Staley has come below hearth from state lawmakers.

“Given the totality of the circumstances, it appears the University of South Carolina rushed to appease the loudest voices of the far left by ‘cancelling’ BYU each actually and figuratively with out respect for the reality,” the caucus wrote. “It is our opinion that the college acted arbitrarily and capriciously with out consideration or regard for the details and circumstances.”

BYU introduced that after an in depth investigation that it might discover no corroborating proof to again the racial slur allegation made by the Duke volleyball participant. The West Coast Conference subsequently launched an announcement backing BYU and concluded that the college “carried out a clear and thorough investigation.”

After listening to in regards to the accomplished BYU investigation, the South Carolina Freedom Caucus launched one other assertion condemning the Gamecocks’ “reckless regard for the reality.”

“The deeply held American beliefs of equity and the presumption of innocence had been trampled on by the University of South Carolina, Coach Tanner, and Coach Staley of their overzealous race to the underside of the advantage signaling barrel,” the caucus wrote. They additional mentioned that the Gamecocks “aided in irreparable hurt carried out to BYU” and demanded that the University of South Carolina “subject a public and instant apology to BYU.”

The group of lawmakers at the moment are requesting communication information of the deliberations between Staley and college officers that led to the choice to cancel the collection with BYU, citing legislative Freedom of Information Act authority.

But state Sen. Gerald Malloy, D-Darlington, referred to as on the 14-member lawmaker group to halt the “ill-informed, intrusive and pointless” inquiry into Staley’s determination.

“I discover it curious that South Carolina legislators have taken up the trigger of one of the most important personal universities within the nation, affiliated with a well-funded denomination, in a state some 2,000 miles away,” Malloy mentioned in a letter despatched to the caucus’ chairman.

Malloy additionally mentioned asserting FOIA authority will not be vital since Staley already defined what led to her determination to cancel the collection with BYU. He referenced media stories two days after Staley’s preliminary announcement of her determination the place she instructed reporters, “It wasn’t a knee-jerk response. I do not knee-jerk something.”

“I vetted it. I talked to varied folks that had been half of the scenario. I slept on it just a few nights and I awoke with the identical intestine feeling that I should not put our gamers in that scenario,” Staley mentioned.

Staley maintains that she didn’t seek the advice of anybody previous to her determination and that Tanner stood by it.

“I did not do it to sentence BYU. This was a egocentric determination,” Staley mentioned. “I used to be solely interested by South Carolina women’s basketball. I needed to deal with it by myself and did not contain anybody else. I needed to verify our gamers did not need to endure that. If one thing had been to occur in that method, I haven’t got the phrases to consolation them. I’d fairly simply not put ourselves in that scenario.”

The South Carolina Freedom Caucus responded to Malloy’s letter by saying his assertions in regards to the FOIA authority are both “ignorant or disingenuous.”

The lawmakers cited BYU’s investigation that discovered no proof of racial epithets and referenced CNN‘s current pronouncement that the scenario seemed to be a “‘rush to judgment … to consider the Duke participant’s accusations’ when no proof in anyway existed to corroborate the declare.”

The Gamecocks have but to announce a alternative staff for his or her dwelling opener scheduled for Nov. 7 or the 2023 recreation initially slated to be performed in Provo.

Staley says she stands by her determination to cancel the collection regardless of the findings of BYU’s investigation.

“After my private analysis, I decided for the well-being of my staff. I remorse that my college, my athletics director Ray Tanner and others obtained drawn into the criticism of a alternative that I made,” Staley mentioned in an announcement launched to the press by the college.

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