Police told UO not to suspend players before NCAA game, officials say

Police told UO not to suspend players before NCAA game, officials say

From left, Artis, Austin, Dotson.

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by Cornelius Swart, KGW.com Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on May 9, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Updated Friday, May 9 at 12:20 PM

EUGENE- University of Oregon officials said Friday that they knew about rape allegations leveled at three basketball players before two NCAA games but did not suspend them because police told the school not to take any actions against the students during their official investigation.

University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Rob Mullens and Vice President for Student Affairs Robin Holmes made public statements at 11 a.m. Friday.

Dominic Artis, Damyean Dotson and Brandon Austin, Oregon Ducks basketball players, had been accused of raping a woman at two separate locations on March 8. The victim reported the incident to police five days later.

A criminal investigation followed the allegations but a district attorney found there was not enough evidence to prosecute the men.

"As a father I'm appalled," said University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson of the incident. "As president, I'm angry and disgruntled about this profoundly disturbing [incident]." 

University officials largely reiterated previous positions Friday. They stated that the players had been thrown off the team and that their conduct was not appropriate for someone representing the athletic department.

Gottfredson said that the school had been informed of the investigation but that police instructed them not to take action against the students, including suspending them from games, while police conducted a review of evidence.

Dotson and Artis went on to play in two games of the NCAA tournament during the investigation.

Related: Rape survivor advocate livid over UO rape case

The players have since been suspended from the team and will not return, officials said Friday.

Austin had been temporarily suspended after a sex assault accusation on Providence College, before he came to the University of Oregon.

Officials stated that they wanted to respect the privacy of the students involved and chose not to publicize the incident.

Gottfredson said he had called on an independent review of university policies to address sexual violence on campus and student conduct.

"Sexual violence assault and harassment have no place on our campus," he said.

Protesters have criticized how the university handled the case, saying the school didn't take enough action after they found out about the accusations. 

Related: Students protest how UO handled rape case 

 

 

 

 

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