PITTSBURGH, Penn. — The University of Southern Mississippi has revoked the scholarships of five members of its pep band who heckled Kansas State guard Angel Rodriguez during last week’s NCAA Tournament game, according to FOX Sports.
The president of Southern Miss University apologized last Thursday after members of the school band chanted “Where’s your green card?” at Rodriguez during the school’s first-round NCAA tournament game in Pittsburgh.
“We deeply regret the remarks made by a few students at today’s game. The words of these individuals do not represent the sentiments of our pep band, athletic department or university,” Southern Miss president Martha Saunders said.
The university also decided to remove the five students from the band and they will be required to complete a two-hour cultural sensitivity training course.
Rodriguez, a freshman point guard for the Wildcats, was fouled late in the first half of the game and was attempting a free-throw when members of the Southern Miss band started the chant, which was picked up by television cameras.
Rodriguez is a native of Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth, and is therefore an American citizen. He finished the game with 13 points and 4 rebounds for the Wildcats.
Kansas State defeated Southern Miss 70-64 to move on in the tournament.
In his post game interview, Rodriguez focused on the team’s performance and the lessons from Coach Frank Martin.
“His words are we gotta stop the bleeding and they made a great run but we were fortunate enough to take the punch and stop the bleeding by making another run and getting stops and executing on offense,” Rodriguez said after the game.