ULL disciplines players in response to anti-Donald Trump video

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

TheUniversity of Louisiana-Lafayettehas disciplined four football players as part of a response to an online video that shows members of the team singing profane lyrics directed at President-elect Donald Trump.

Ragin' Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth and athletic director Scott Farmer both issued statements Friday in which they said that neither the program nor the university condones the players' actions. The school has not identified which players were disciplined and has not announced what the punishment specifically was.

The video, recorded Tuesday in the team's locker room, shows multiple players making obscene gestures and shouting expletives while singing a profane song directed at Trump, who won the presidential election later that night.

"I am disappointed by the actions that a few student-athletes demonstrated," Hudspeth said as part of a statement issued Friday to The Daily Advertiser. "The immature behavior of those individuals is not condoned by our program. It does not represent our entire team or the views of the University. We've disciplined four student-athletes and are taking steps to educate all of our student-athletes to prevent this from happening again.

"I apologize to our alumni, fans, supporters and the University, who deserve more responsible behavior by our student-athletes."

Farmer sent a letter to season-ticket holders and other boosters affiliated with the program, according to the Advertiser.

"Recently, a video showing a small group of student-athletes acting inappropriately was recorded and shared on social media," Farmer wrote in the letter. "This video in no way represents the views and values of the Ragin' Cajuns Football program, the Athletics Department or the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

"Like many of you, we are disappointed in the actions of these student-athletes. Coach Hudspeth recognized the severity of the situation and does not condone their behavior. He acted swiftly to discipline those involved and continues to educate the team on how their actions are a reflection of the name on the front of their jerseys."

Hudspeth has received intense criticism on the internet and social media because of his initial response to the video Thursday.

"Obviously the hand gestures and the lewd language were very disappointing, especially toward one of the candidates," Hudspeth said Thursday night after the Ragin' Cajun's victory against Georgia Southern, according to the Advertiser. "But I will say this. It's also disappointing that so many people have vilified a few 19-year-olds making some immature decisions, and then they were the same ones that voted for someone that has done much worse by grabbing a female in the private areas for the office of the [president of the] United States of America."

As part of his statement Friday, Hudspeth said, "I regret my response to a reporter's question after last night's game that may have offended some voters in the recent election."