Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Pac-12 Sports
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

» E-mail Kurt Kragthorpe

» E-mail Kyle Goon

» Subscribe (RSS)

Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman, right, looks up to the scoreboard as he signals to his team during the second half of their NCAA college basketball game against Southern California in Eugene, Ore. on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)
Turmoil in Oregon basketball sheds light on troubling issue

In Eugene, Ore., there's turmoil afoot in the men's basketball program. And it's casting light on one of the darkest issues that affects college sports.

By now, most college basketball fans have heard the news that Oregon has suspended Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin after the three student athletes were investigated for the alledged rape of a female university student.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

While so far, the local district attorney's office has declined to prosecute the three, one of the most controversial aspects of the story was when the university knew and why it allowed Dotson and Artis to participate in the postseason.

According to the latest report in The Oregonian, the university was aware on March 9, but police asked the school to hold off on its own procedures:

In a new update late Tuesday evening, university senior director of public affairs Tobin Klinger said via press release that the university first learned of the allegations on March 9 when contacted by the alleged victim's father. In the two weeks after the accusations were known by the university, Dotson and Artis continued to play in the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments.

The university then said the Eugene Police Department "told the university that if it took investigative or administrative action it would jeopardize the integrity of the criminal investigation, and therefore, requested that the university not take action at that time."

A Eugene Police department spokeswoman confirmed late Tuesday evening that the police had asked the university to "pause" any administrative review of the three players until its criminal investigation ended.

Eugene Police filed their initial report with the alleged victim March 13 and the criminal investigation ended April 8.

Klinger's statement closed by saying the university received the police report April 24.

The players and the woman involved agree there was sexual contact, but the question is whether it was consensual. The police report released on Monday describes the nature of the alledged assault, which is extremely graphic (if you click the link, be prepared to read disturbing details).

To critics of the university's action - or inaction - it's comtemptable that both Dotson and Artis were playing when Oregon officials knew they were under investigation for rape. At the same time, the authorities themselves cautioned against moving too quickly, and to allow the investigation to run its course before immediately branding them as guilty.

It's a tough conflict in college sports in general. Should you allow players accused of rape (or other serious crimes) to stay on the field or the court? The best answer may be somewhere in the shades of gray.

On one hand, Oregon has the issue of allowing men who are potentially guilty of rape continuing their lives as normal. On the other, preemptive action could crucify innocent men.

The course of action that Oregon took re-enforces the perception that athletes have a double-standard in their favor. Florida State's handling of Jameis Winston alarmed many toward the end of the Seminoles' championship run, and Winston's Heisman Trophy campaign. To critics, those achievements will always be built on the back of a criminal investigation that was faulty from the start. A New York Times piece last month revealed some troubling aspects of the case that were either overlooked or not pursued.

It's a tricky issue, one of the most serious facing college athletics today. How Oregon handles it from here on out will be under a lot of spotlights, and it could chart the standard by which athletic departments work on these cases.

The disconcerting truth is that this will happen again at another university. Fair or not, Oregon will be part of establishing the precedent for these unfortunate situations.

Kyle Goon


Twitter: @kylegoon

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Rich Rodriguez on UTSA
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Byrne, staff worked hard to get 50K for UA opener
» UA football: Breaking down the wide receivers
» Free weekly Wildcat sports magazine

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU football practice report from Sunday
» VIDEO: Looking ahead to ASU's road game
» Goal-line stand highlights 1st look at defense
» How ASU's 2015 commits fared Friday night

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal Bears hang on for win at Northwestern
» Cal football notebook: Freshman QB Rubenzer an effective secret weapon
» Cal opens at Northwestern with a much different look on defense
» Fact box: Cal at Northwestern

Colorado (Denver Post)
» CU Buffs freshman WR Shay Fields gets off to impressive start
» Opening game loss a blow to Colorado's goal of a bowl bid
» CSU roars back to beat CU 31-17 in Rocky Mountain Showdown
» CU-CSU Briefs: Rams' defense tightens up after poor start

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» The physical game is a pride issue for the No. 3 Oregon Ducks as No. 8 Michigan State comes to town
» Royce Freeman on being 'tentative,' performing better and first time playing at Autzen Stadium (video)
» Marcus Mariota on Michigan State, Royce Freeman and feeling good after a win (video)

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans
» Beavers promote McCoy to assistant athletic director for equipment operations
» Oregon State hires longtime trainer hired Fred Tedeschi
» Beavers hire Mark Massari as deputy athletics director

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford overpowers UC Davis in season-opening win
» Stanford opens 2014 season without a No. 1 tailback -- again
» Fact box: Stanford vs. UC-Davis
» Stanford prepares for UC Davis as memory of stunning 2005 loss lingers

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Huskies announce that Cyler Miles will start at quarterback against Eastern Washington
» Husky men eye deep run in NCAA soccer
» First look: Eastern Washington Eagles
» UW coach Chris Petersen on Cyler Miles, Hawaii and looking ahead to Eastern Washington

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» New depth chart for Nevada
» Labor Day is the right name for every day of the football season
» Another game week begins
» We always (over)react to college football's first full Saturday

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.