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Alleged victim in Oregon rape case rips athletic department

Dana Altman has a career record of  487280 in 25 seasons as a college coach. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch) Dana Altman remains the coach at Oregon after criticism for the handling of a rape case. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)

A woman who said three members of Oregon men's basketball team raped her sent a letter to the school newspaper in which she said the athletic department focuses on winning over the safety of students.

The woman's statement was published Thursday in the Daily Emerald through her attorney. The alleged victim, who still takes classes at Oregon, says she met Dominic Artis, Damyean Dotson, and Brandon Austin on March 8 at a party.

The three players were named in a graphic police report detailing what the victim said happened that night. Prosecutors later said there wasn't enough evidence to charge the players.

The Wall Street Journal reported in March that Austin was under investigation for sexual assault allegedly committed while he attended Providence last November. Austin transferred to Oregon after being suspended from the program.

The players were suspended by the school April 30 and dismissed from the program May 9. Oregon officials knew about the incident in March, but Artis and Dotson were still allowed to play in the NCAA tournament.

"There have been many comments made by individuals not directly involved and affected by the alleged incident until today's open letter to the Daily Emerald," Oregon spokeswoman Julie Brown said. "We sympathize with the challenging position that she finds herself in and support her right to express herself."

The entire letter reads:

The past few months have, undeniably, been the hardest and most challenging time in my life. This is such an overwhelming experience and one that I hope that no other student on campus ever has to live through. Given what has transpired on campus recently, I have at times wondered whether I ever should have told anyone about what had happened.

I know a lot of people are angry. I am angry, too. I am angry with the culture that appears to exist in our athletic department that prioritizes winning over safety of our students. I cannot fathom how our basketball coach recruited someone who was in the middle of a suspension for another sexual assault to come to Eugene.

I think that students, faculty, and other community members have been asking some very needed questions of our athletic department, and I am not satisfied with the answers they have provided. I think that we all deserve better explanations and real transparency.

Despite my frustration, it is important to me to thank the Dean of Students office. They have been very kind and supportive of me and I can't thank them enough. I'm not sure I would still be on campus if it weren't for their help. I know this has stirred up a lot of issues on campus and some of them are bigger than my incident. My sincere hope, though, is that as a school UO can get through this and come out in a better place at the end. I still love our school and I want it to be the best and safest place anywhere in the country.

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