Report: Seattle coach Jim Hayford suspended after allegedly using racial slur

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Seattle University suspended basketball coach Jim Hayford and placed him on administrative leave on Saturday after he allegedly used the N-word multiple times, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

The incident took place during Thursday’s scrimmage, per the report. A player in the game allegedly used the N-word, which officials running the scrimmage then questioned. Hayford, who is white, “then repeated the word in an effort to curtail its use,” according to Goodman.

This marks the second time in recent months Hayford has allegedly used the racial slur, following an incident in the summer.

Hayford apologized to his players on Friday, though most of them then refused to play for him. The university has now launched an investigation.

“Most of the players don’t like him, so this was almost the final straw,” one source close to the program told Goodman. “He’s very emotional, flammable. It can be a hostile environment.”

Hayford, 54, is in his fifth season in Seattle, where he’s compiled a 64-55 overall record. He was hired by Seattle before the 2017 season after a six-year run at Eastern Washington, where he went 106-91 and won a Big Sky championship and earned an NCAA tournament berth.

It’s unclear who will lead the Redhawks in his absence. They are set to kick off the 2021-22 season on Wednesday against Alcorn State.

Head coach Jim Hayford of the Seattle Redhawks
Seattle coach Jim Hayford, seen here in 2018, allegedly used the N-word multiple times in recent months, including at a team scrimmage on Thursday. (Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
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