NCAA tournament: USM apologizes for "green card" chant

Kansas State's Angel Rodriguez (13) gets control of a loose ball in front of Southern Mississippi's Neil Watson, left, defends in the first half of an East Regional NCAA tournament second-round college basketball game, March 15, 2012, in Pittsburgh. AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Kansas State's Angel Rodriguez (13) gets control of a loose ball in front of Southern Mississippi's Neil Watson, left, defends in the first half of an East Regional NCAA tournament second-round college basketball game, March 15, 2012, in Pittsburgh.
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

(CBS/AP) Inevitably the NCAA tournament showcases March Madness on the court and March Morons in the stands.

The latest incident of fan stupidity came Thursday in an East Region matchup between the University of Southern Mississippi and Kansas State. When K-State's Angel Rodriguez, who is from Puerto Rico, stepped to the free throw line in the first half, some members of the Southern Miss pep band began to chant, "Where's your green card?"

Video of the heckling of the freshman point guard was posted on YouTube (See below).

Memo to Southern Miss band members: Puerto Rico is a United States territory.

The Hattiesburg American reports that USM President Martha Saunders issued a statement shortly after the game apologizing for the band's behavior. She says USM "will take quick and appropriate disciplinary action against the students involved in this isolated incident."

USM interim athletic director Jeff Hammond met with Kansas State athletic director John Currie later to apologize again. He says the band's action was unacceptable.

Last week, a high school in Texas apologized after its fans chanted "USA, USA!" after its team beat a school with predominantly Hispanic players.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

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