When three female students from the State University of New York at Albany reported they had been the victims of a racially motivated attack on a city bus, the university’s president cut short a trip so he could return to campus and follow through on his written promise to respond “rapidly and forcefully.”

One of the alleged victims recounted on her Twitter feed the attack by a mob of as many as a dozen white students.

Not surprisingly, the campus rallied around the victims with protests and tweeted their support with the #DefendBlackGirlsUAlbany hashtag.

Look who else jumped in with a tweet of support linking to the USA Today story:

Within days, though, the students’ story began to unravel, not helped at all by recordings of 911 calls and security video from the bus showing the entire incident as it played out.

Even after the hoax was exposed, the students had defenders who cited the “aggressive nature” of the disciplinary proceedings by the “University of Injustice.”

Eventually, the students were indicted on charges of assault and falsely reporting a crime.

Support for the alleged victims didn’t end with the exposure of the hoax, though. Even at their arraignment, some coordinated support under the claim that the students were being “unjustly and aggressively prosecuted.”

In the latest development, two of the three students have been expelled, while the third has been suspended for two years, despite even further attempts to defend the hoax.

Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner writes:

The disciplinary action comes after the students were arrested and charged with 10 misdemeanor charges, including assault and false reporting.

Audio and video collected from the attack showed one of the accusers throwing the first punch and another using a racial slur while white bus riders tried to break up the fight. When one of the accusers called 911 after the fight to report a race-based crime, she bragged about “beat[ing] up a boy.”

A tentative trial date has been scheduled for September. In the meantime, President Obama might want to bring his Howard University commencement speech on the road.