Ex-Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon: I have never sexually assaulted anyone
Sulaimon was dismissed by coach Mike Krzyzewski in January, with Krzyzewski saying the junior "has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program."
In early March, a report from The Duke Chronicle said Sulaimon was tied to two sexual assaults during the 2013-14 school year. The Chronicle also reported that members of the athletic department, including Krzyzewski, were aware of the allegations "as early as March 2014."
"I have never sexually assaulted, not only anyone on the Duke campus, but anyone period," Sulaimon told ESPN. "It's not in my nature at all. I have great respect for the role of women in society. I would never demean or do anything to a woman in this manner. No, I've never done anything like this in my life."
Sulaimon, a former five-star recruit, told ESPN that Duke investigated the first allegation and that they "they knew it was unsubstantiated." He said he met with the Office of Student Conduct during his sophomore year about an allegation of sexual assault and never met with anyone at the office regarding a second allegation.
The guard's playing time decreased from 29.2 minutes per game in his freshman season to 19.3 in his junior season. Sulaimon said he "got frustrated" and believed he should have still been starting, leading to a breakdown in his relationship with Krzyzewski.
"In retrospect, in looking back on it, I didn't handle it well at all," he told ESPN. "My immaturity and me being frustrated with hitting adversity, I think it greatly impacted my relationship with Coach K heavily."
Sulaimon is still enrolled at Duke and said he plans to take summer classes and is optimistic he will graduate in August. He plans to transfer to another school, where he would be able to play immediately next season upon graduating from Duke. He told ESPN he is being recruited by Arizona State, Baylor, Colorado, George Washington, Houston, LSU, Maryland, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Seton Hall, SMU, Texas, Texas Southern and Texas A&M.
"I have no quarrel with Coach K and I'm looking for a fresh start to finish my college career after I graduate from Duke first," he said.
- Molly Geary