College Basketball Coach Resigns After Reportedly Using Racial Slur, Players Refusing To Play For Him

Seattle, Washington / USA - July 21 2019: "Seattle University" sign at the Capitol Hill college campus, in an education concept with space for text on top

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College basketball coach Jim Rayford has resigned from his position at Seattle University after being placed on administrative leave.

According to a report from Jeff Goodman of Stadium, Rayford used a racial slur multiple times during a scrimmage last week, and as a result, a majority of the players on the Redhawks roster were refusing to play for him.

The school launched an investigation into the allegations before Rayford’s resignation was official.

Seattle University athletic director Shaney Fink released a statement on Hayford’s resignation while committing to changing the atmosphere and climate within the program moving forward.

“It is clear to me that Coach Hayford is no longer able to effectively lead the team,” Fink said. “The top priority within the Athletic Department is, and always will be, to support the wellbeing and success of our student-athletes—in and out of the classroom and in their chosen sport.

“We are committed to advancing an athletic community that is inclusively excellent. We will take additional steps to ensure any concerns within the program are addressed and that all our student-athletes are seen, heard, and supported. As part of our commitment, Seattle University has initiated a review of the climate within the program.”

Chris Victor will serve as the Redhawks interim head coach.

After his resignation, Rayford released a brief statement to Stadium.

“I have always held the belief that the use of racial slurs has no place in society, despite their origin,” Hayford said. “However, my recent attempts at curtailing the use of a repugnant word within my own program was misguided and created division among our student-athletes to whom I have apologized. Given the result, and in the best interest of the program.”

The Redhawks kicked off their 2021-22 campaign with a win over Alcorn State on Wednesday night and return to the court on Friday against Washington State.

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