Three University of Oregon men’s basketball players were suspended from the school’s campus for at least four years after the school found them guilty of violating its sexual misconduct policies. The victim’s attorney announced the suspensions Monday and the university confirmed them, according to the Huffington Post.
Brandon Austin, Damyean Dotson, and Domonic Artis were suspended indefinitely and then dismissed from the basketball team in May after the school learned of a sexual assault investigation. A female student alleged that the three men assaulted her during and after an off-campus party on March 8 to 9. Prosecutors declined to bring charges in the case because they believed there was not enough evidence to secure convictions, but the school is required by federal Title IX laws to conduct its own investigation into alleged sexual assaults involving students.
As a result, Austin, Dotson, and Artis will be suspended from Oregon’s campus for at least four years and possibly longer if the victim is still at Oregon. The maximum suspension is 10 years.
Austin was allowed to transfer to Oregon after a previous suspension involving a sexual assault accusation at Providence College, where he began his college basketball career. That case did not lead to charges against Austin or the other man accused of assault, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The three players and their attorneys have maintained that the sexual encounter was consensual, but the details provided to police by the victim were disturbing. According to the police report filed in the case, Dotson and Austin sexually assaulted her in the bathroom of an off-campus party before they took her to two of the players’ apartment and forced her to have sex with them.
“I remember saying no the entire time,” the victim said in the police report.
The Oregon case is one among a long list of high-profile sexual assaults involving college athletes over the last year. Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston was accused of sexual assault in the middle of Florida State’s season last fall but was not charged in the case. Four Vanderbilt football players are also facing a sexual assault investigation, and there have been countless others. But the issue isn’t relegated to sports. While Oregon suspended the three players after the investigation mandated by Title IX, universities across the country are facing complaints and potential lawsuits alleging that they have failed to uphold their duties to properly investigate sexual assaults on campus.