Former PSU basketball player says he transferred after racial remark, Penn State responds

Nittany Nation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) – One former Penn State basketball guard released a statement Monday morning citing a racially insensitive language incident as a catalyst for his leaving the school.

Former Penn State guard Rasir Bolton transferred to Iowa State after the 2018-19 season at Penn State. He played in 32 games as a true freshman for the Nittany Lions.

Bolton released this statement Monday morning. He said he left Penn State after coach Patrick Chambers “referenced a noose around (Bolton’s neck).”

Bolton details reporting the incident to his academic advisor, the Penn State athletic department, and his parents. He also said he “confronted” coach Patrick Chambers after the incident.

Bolton and his family spoke to ESPN’s Jesse Washington who published an article Monday morning for The Undefeated. The report offers some context to the conversation between Bolton and Chambers. Bolton said Chambers told him he wanted to take the pressure off of his freshman guard. According to the report, it was his choice of words that bothered Bolton.

“I want to loosen the noose that’s around your neck” is the phrase Chambers used according to the report.

Penn State athletics has since acknowledged the incident. Coach Patrick Chambers released a statement Monday where he said he used language that was “hurtful, insensitive and unacceptable.”

Penn State Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour also released a statement detailing ways the athletic department plans on creating a “more inclusive, just and respectful environment.”

More reaction poured in from former Penn State players Monday as well. Former Penn State captain and current Dallas Maverick Josh Reaves told PennLive’s David Jones he did not approve of that language in any context:

“I don’t know if I’m allowed to curse. It was just f—ed up, to say the least. Saying that, in any type of context, is wrong. Regardless of how you try to make it seem like you’re speaking, what type of tone you’re trying to take. Regardless, it’s wrong.”

Former Penn State forward, and NBA hopeful, Lamar Stevens said he did not have any similar experiences to Bolton’s:

Lamar Stevens further supported his former coach, but also said Chambers used a “poor choice of words.”

Current Penn State guard Jamari Wheeler said Chambers apologized to the team for the incident already.

Bolton was second in scoring in his lone season at Penn State. He averaged 11.6 points per game and started nine games. He started 30 games for Iowa State in the 2019-20 season. He was able to avoid sitting out a year for the Cyclones – which would mean he received an eligibility waiver from the NCAA. Iowa State finished 12-20 in a season where a pandemic eliminated postseason play for all teams.

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