After a sexual assault investigation that resulted in no charges but drew national attention, Oregon announced Friday that the players involved -- Damyean Dotson, Brandon Austin and Dominic Artis -- would not play for the Ducks again.
Dotson, Austin and Artis were the three players named in a report from Eugene police that the university said it received on April 24, and after considering the lurid details of that report and initially suspending the players, president Michael Gottfredson announced Friday that the trio "will not be playing basketball at Oregon again."
"When you read the police report, it was very clear that this was conduct that wasn't befitting a University of Oregon student-athlete," athletic director Rob Mullens said at the same news conference Friday. "It was very clear to us those were individual we didn't want representing our organization."
Gottfredson said he was aware of the names of the players involved before the NCAA tournament, while Mullens said he and coach Dana Altman did not have confirmation of those involved before the event started. The incident involving the players occurred on the night of March 8 and the police report is dated March 13, leading to criticism that Oregon weighed postseason success over discipline for athletes under investigation for a serious crime.
"The Eugene Police Department requested we not do anything that might hinder their criminal investigation — including suspending players or not playing them in a game," Gottfredson said. "We complied fully with that request, and appropriately so. That does not mean we did nothing during that time. It simply means that we refrained, at the request of Eugene Police, from doing anything that might have alerted the persons the police told us not to alert to the investigation. Throughout, we continued to follow other steps of our regular process of investigation, and to provide support services, as we do for all such matters."
Mullens said that he and Altman took action to suspend the three players "within 24 hours" of reviewing the police report, which Mullens said they received April 30. Altman, who was set to speak with the media at 3 p.m. PT, will return as coach next season, Mullens confirmed Friday. Oregon finished this past season 24-10 and reached the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament.