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BYU confirms no evidence that a fan racially harassed Duke volleyball player, apologizes to fan who was accused and banned

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Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

After an extensive investigation, Brigham Young University announced Friday it found no evidence to corroborate accusations than a fan racially harassed a Duke University volleyball player last month.

As a result, the school reversed a ban instituted against the fan who was accused of yelling racial slurs.

What did the school say?

University officials reached out to more than 50 individuals who attended the Aug. 26 match between the Cougars and Blue Devils, including athletes and personnel from both teams, security, and fans. None were able to corroborate that any racial heckling took place.

The school also reviewed all available video and audio from the event. Again, no evidence to corroborate the allegations.

"From our extensive review, we have not found any evidence to corroborate the allegation that fans engaged in racial heckling or uttered racial slurs at the event," BYU explained in a statement.

"As a result of our investigation, we have lifted the ban on the fan who was identified as having uttered racial slurs during the match. We have not found any evidence that that individual engaged in such an activity," the statement added. "BYU sincerely apologizes to that fan for any hardship the ban has caused."

For anyone skeptical about the findings of the investigation, the school reiterated its call for anyone with evidence to immediately come forward.

What is the background?

After the Aug. 26 match, BYU officials banned a fan who was accused of yelling racial slurs at Rachel Richardson, a Duke volleyball player.

The incident gained national attention after Richardson's godmother claimed on social media that Richardson was called an N-word "every time she served" and was "threatened by a white male that told her to watch her back going to the team bus."

Richardson later released her own statement with the same allegations.

But days after the game, BYU police said their investigation confirmed the fan who had been banned did not yell racial slurs or harass anyone. Even more, the investigation was unable to turn up any evidence corroborating the allegations.

Ironically, BYU's statement comes two days after USA Today published an essay that condemned doubts about Richardson's allegations as a "right-wing conspiracy theory."

Turns out, it was anything but.

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