Official: Campus nooses prompted by approach of Halloween

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - A university official says a student suspended for tying two nooses on an Alabama campus and leaving them hanging in a tree did so because it's getting close to Halloween.

A vice president for the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Michael Mitchell, says the student admitted making the nooses, which were fashioned from ropes that were already hanging from a limb. The ropes had apparently been used to suspend a sign earlier.

Mitchell said Thursday the student told authorities he didn't realize a noose could be offensive to black students and "teared up" when told it could be.

The student has been suspended from class and banned from campus. A contract worker at the school was fired after sending a racially insensitive tweet about the incident.