Updated 2:25 p.m.: University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson released a secondary statement Tuesday afternoon regarding the three UO basketball players who were connected to a sexual assault investigation by Eugene Police.
“The report of sexual violence affecting our community is of deep concern to me, as it is to all of us. The University of Oregon takes such reports extremely seriously. As a residential campus, a close community of students, faculty, and staff, supporting our students and protecting their safety is our highest priority.”
UO Athletic Director Rob Mullins and Vice President for Student Affairs Robin Holmes also released a statement, the first made by the athletic department regarding this incident, according to The Daily Emerald.
“Questions have arisen regarding the timeliness of the university’s involvement in the matter reported about University of Oregon basketball. Law enforcement agencies often request that the university wait to take action in order to avoid interference with an open criminal investigation. We responded accordingly in this situation.”
Three University of Oregon basketball players have been suspended from team activities following a Eugene Police Department investigation of an alleged sexual assault, student newspaper The Daily Emerald reports.
The Lane County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday it had dropped the investigation against sophomore Dameyan Dotson due to “insufficient evidence.” The university has not announced an official investigation at this time.
According to the police report, Dotson, sophomore Dominic Artis and freshman Brandon Austin allegedly raped a female UO student and forced her to perform oral sex on March 9 at a house party and later at an apartment until the alleged victim said she began to cry.
The woman later told a few people about the incident, including her father who reported the alleged assault to UO. When asked if she would like to press charges, the woman said she “didn’t want to ruin their lives.”
“We are deeply concerned about information contained in the police reports,” UO President Michael Gottfredson said in a statement Monday.
This is not the first run-in with the law for the players, as the Register Guard reports.
Austin’s past includes a previous sexual assault allegation at Providence College. ESPN reports he was suspended from the team in November and transferred to UO in January.
The release of the police report comes less than a week after the White House released the first report by a task force created to protect students from sexual assault.
Following the recommendations, the Department of Education said 55 universities are facing investigation for how they handled sexual abuse claims under Title IX. No Oregon institutions will be investigated.
“These deeply disturbing allegations undermine the hard work and emphasis that our community has made on sexual assault prevention,” Associated Student of UO President Sam Dotter-Katz said in a statement.
Reaction has mostly been negative on Twitter:
Hard being a duck basketball fan right now..— Raymond Gibeau (@G_BO_09) May 6, 2014