Duke athletic director Kevin White released a statement on Tuesday that said men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and the school's basketball office followed protocol following allegations of sexual assault against former player Rasheed Sulaimon.
Sulaimon was dismissed by the Blue Devils in January, the first player to be dismissed during Krzyzewski's 35-year tenure as Duke coach.
On Monday, a report from The Duke Chronicle said Sulaimon was tied to two sexual assaults during the 2013-2014 school year. The Chronicle also reported that members of the athletic department, including Krzyzewski, were aware of the allegations "as early as March 2014."
During an ACC conference call on Monday, Krzyzewski refused to comment on the report and its allegations multiple times.
From White's statement:
"Any allegation of student misconduct that is brought to the attention of our staff and coaches is immediately referred to the Office of Student Conduct in Student Affairs, which has responsibility for upholding the Duke code of conduct. The athletics department does not investigate or adjudicate matters of student conduct, and cooperates completely in the process," White said, according to the Sporting News.
"These investigations are conducted thoroughly, in a timely manner, and with great care to respect the privacy and confidentiality of all students involved. Those procedures have been, and continue to be, followed by Coach Mike Krzyzewski and all members of the men’s basketball program. Coach Krzyzewski and his staff understand and have fulfilled their responsibilities to the university, its students and the community."
Sulaimon's two female accusers did not file charges or submit a complaint to Duke's Office of Student Conduct, but they spoke publicly of the allegations at a student retreat called Common Ground, according to The Chronicle report. At Common Ground's October 2013 retreat, the first alleged victim reportedly said that Sulaimon had sexually assaulted her. A second woman alleged during Common Ground in February 2014 that she had been sexually assaulted by Sulaimon.
In March 2014, a team psychologist became aware of the allegations, according to the report. Krzyzewski and multiple assistant coaches also allegedly were informed later that month, followed by several high-ranking officials in the athletic department.
The alleged victims chose not to file charges or come forward to the Office of Student Conduct because they were afraid of backlash from Duke basketball fans. However, the university is still bound by Title IX to examine indications of sexual assault, despite the fact that no formal complaint was filed.
- Stanley Kay and Molly Geary