The South Carolina and Missouri women’s basketball teams have played and split two heated games this month, and in each match-up, fans from both sides have been accused of increasingly shitty and racist behavior. In the first game, a Missouri fan reportedly called USC players “thugs.” In this past Sunday’s game, according to a former Missouri player, South Carolina fans were spitting on the Missouri team as they left the court after the game.
The Sunday game’s broadcast cuts out right after the buzzer, so there’s no video of any incident. But Missouri coach Robin Pingeton didn’t deny the USC spitting when asked about it Tuesday. Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“I was really disappointed with some things that transpired,” she said. “There’s no place in our game for that. Fans got to be better all around. Our side, their side, everybody’s side. Fans got to be better. These are daughters playing a game they love to play. There were certainly some things that were really unfortunate that transpired, not only verbally and some other things (spitting) you alluded to. It’s really unfortunate. But you’ve got two fan bases that are passionate and just got to clean it up a little bit.”
Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk took things even further. In a radio interview, also on Tuesday, Sterk said directly that players were both spit on and called “the n-word” when they were at South Carolina on Sunday. He specifically blamed South Carolina coach Dawn Staley for the fans’ behavior.
In a statement, however, South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said that his department conducted a review of the accusations and “received no confirmation of the alleged behavior directed at the visiting team by fans at the game.”