Three basketball players won’t play for Ducks again
Three Oregon basketball players who were investigated but not charged in an alleged sexual assault have been dismissed from the team.
Damyean Dotson, 19, Dominic Artis, 19; and Brandon Austin, 18, were suspended after the school received a police report concerning allegations made by a student who said she was assaulted by the players in March. School officials announced Friday that the players would not return to the Ducks because of conduct that is not befitting of student athletes.
The Lane County district attorney’s office investigated and determined there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute the players on criminal charges.
“They will not be playing basketball at Oregon again,” said university President Michael Gottfredson, who appeared at Friday’s press conference along with Vice President for Student Affairs Robin Holmes and athletic director Rob Mullens.
While Oregon was informed of the allegations after the woman’s father called police on March 9, school and team officials were asked not to take action so as not to interfere with the police investigation, Gottfredson and Mullens said. Two of the athletes subsequently played in NCAA tournament games for the Ducks.
Mullens said he did not know which players were under investigation when the team played in the postseason tournament.
Oregon received the final police report April 24, and the three students were suspended shortly thereafter.
The woman, a university student, met the players at a party on March 8, the same night the Ducks beat No. 3 Arizona in the final game of the regular season. The woman’s father called police the next day.
Eugene police made public a 24-page report on Monday detailing the accusations, in which the athletes said sexual relations with the student were consensual. District Attorney Alex Gardner on Tuesday released an explanation for the decision not to bring charges in the case, citing conflicting actions and statements by the victim.
The university’s handling of the alleged assault had sparked protests on campus, including one Thursday that drew more than 100 people, many of whom accused the school of holding athletes to a different standard.
Coach Dana Altman said the decision to dismiss the athletes was ultimately made in the “best interest” of the players, the team and the university because of the intense scrutiny they faced.
It is the second sexual assault allegation Austin has faced. While at Providence College, he and another Providence player were accused last year of sexually assaulting a female student on campus. The two were suspended and Austin subsequently transferred to Oregon. The Providence case remains under investigation.