BYU removes on-court ROC seating for volleyball matches following alleged racial harassment

BYU will no longer allow on-court seating for its ROC student section at volleyball matches for the foreseeable future, the Deseret News reported Thursday.

The decision comes following allegations of racial slurs hurled toward Duke volleyball player Rachel Richardson from the courtside stands in last Friday’s match against the Cougars. BYU has released several statements regarding the incident and announced it had banned a fan identified by Duke shortly afterward.

“For this weekend’s tournament matches with Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Utah State, non-participating teams will have their staffs and student-athletes occupying that space,” Associate Athletic Director Jon McBride said in a statement. “Exact protocol for that space moving forward beyond this weekend is still under review.”

Courtside ROC seating was removed in BYU’s most recent match against Washington State Saturday and will be eliminated indefinitely as BYU continues its investigation into Richardson’s allegations.

The ROC’s courtside rowdiness had long fostered a formidable home court advantage for the Cougars, with BYU women’s volleyball sporting a 103-5 record at the Smith Fieldhouse since Heather Olmstead began her tenure as head coach in 2015.

BYU officials have been unable to find evidence thus far of the banned fan or anyone else in attendance Friday using racial slurs.

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