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Individuals banned following racist comments during SD Mines football game

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Individuals who allegedly directed racist comments at the Colorado Mesa University football team during a Nov. 13 game on the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology campus have been banned indefinitely from all Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference events, commissioner Chris Graham announced Wednesday.

"These comments were abhorrent and stand in complete contradiction to the values and policies of the RMAC and its institutions," Graham said in a statement.

Most information regarding these individuals, regarding how many there are, their names and if they were students or general spectators, was not released in the statement. SD Mines athletic communications coordinator Josh Van Valkenburg-Gernert told the Journal that the school cannot comment on the incident as the investigation is still ongoing. 

"South Dakota Mines has zero tolerance for racism. We apologize to all who were harmed by the unacceptable actions of these individuals," SD Mines president Dr. Jim Rankin said in a statement. "Their behavior goes against the core mission, vision, and values of our institution."  

Graham added that these individuals were identified at the time of the incident and vacated the facility, and that SD Mines has been handed down an undisclosed monetary fine.

"My sincerest apologies go out to the members of Colorado Mesa's football team and staff that witnessed and were involved in completely unacceptable behavior while on our campus," SD Mines athletic director Joel Lueken said. "We will endeavor to be better hosts, hold ourselves to a higher degree of sportsmanship, and strive to be better human beings. We will improve." 

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