Penn State Strikes Down Allegation Of Students Using Racial Slurs Against Rutgers Basketball Players

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An investigation by Penn State concluded that no racial slurs were used against Rutgers men’s basketball players on Sunday after a report emerged that racist remarks were shouted from the Nittany Lions students section at Bryce Jordan Center.

In a statement provided to OutKick late Monday, Penn State’s Senior Associate Athletic Director Kristina Petersen relayed that Legion of Blue VP Noah Odige, who first reported the use of a slur in a group chat, received false information.

Among the alleged language heard during the game was the use of the N-word, according to Odige’s message. Police were also notified over the alleged use of a racist remark.

While the accounts of “vulgar language” were confirmed by the department, the school quickly put out any belief that racist remarks were made during the 59-56 Rutgers win over the Lions.

Penn State’s statement read:

Further investigation into reported fan behavior at the Penn State versus Rutgers basketball game on Sunday has found that no apparent racial slurs were used by Penn State fans. A deeper look into the matter today included conversations with Rutgers athletic director and staff, reports from University police officers at the event, and other game staff. Information was inaccurately conveyed to the Legion of Blue student group, which supports Penn State men’s basketball, and has not been found to be true.

ICA is aware that some fans were using vulgar language directed toward Rutgers players and fans, and we are disappointed as it does not represent Penn State values, appropriate fan conduct, or the Happy Valley Hospitality for which we are known. Fan behavior is important to the experience of all teams and visitors to Penn State and our goal is to create an environment that is competitive, but welcoming.

Allegations of racist and vulgar language from the home crowd marred a huge comeback win by the Scarlet Knight. Rutgers overcame a 19-point deficit in the second half to defeat Penn State.

Penn State Fans Accused Of Offensive Language

In the initial report, an official from the student fan group, Legion of Blue, addressed allegations of offensive language from behind the Rutgers bench.

Rutgers guard Derek Simpson and Penn State guard/forward Seth Lundy. (Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports)

Screenshots of a chat among Legion of Blue members showed notices from group vice president Noah Odige. The VP condemned the home crowd for complaints of vulgar language.

‘Home Fans Crossed The Line,’ Says Nittany Lions Fan Official

“There are lines we do not cross as fans. The police have issued a warning to Athletics,” Odige’s message read.

Odige’s message, relayed by Gannett photo editor Noah Riffe, stated that Penn State’s Athletics Department was notified. The police were also notified.

Odige added, “The privilege of sitting behind the benches will be revoked if this behavior continues. Athletics is extremely disappointed with the behavior displayed today and so are we. Not only is it a bad look for the Legion of Blue but for our program and the university as well.

“The police have issued a warning to athletics due to the alleged explicit, racist and vulgar language directed to members of the Rutgers basketball team. Things such as f-bombs, n-words and other slurs being thrown around are downright unacceptable, and the privilege of sitting behind the benches will be revoked if this behavior continues.”

A traveling member from Rutgers told USA Today that the bench was unaware of vulgar language from Lions fans.

Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

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Written by Alejandro Avila

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