3 Oregon players accused of assault kicked off team

Eugene, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Three Oregon basketball players accused of sexually assaulting a woman in March have been kicked off the team, school officials announced Friday.

"They will not be playing basketball at Oregon again," university president Michael Gottfredson said during a news conference.

Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin have not been charged with a crime and were previously suspended from the team after the school received a police report on April 24 about the incident, Gottfredson said.

Gottfredson said the decision to dismiss the players from the team was made by himself, athletic director Rob Mullens and head coach Dana Altman.

In the graphic 24-page police report, a woman says she was sexually assaulted by the players the weekend of March 8 and 9, first in a bathroom inside a house and later in a bedroom inside an apartment.

The players say the sex was consensual. The Lane County district attorney's office said there was insufficient evidence to bring charges but has no doubt the incident occurred.

Altman will remain coach of the Ducks, Mullens said.

He said they were aware before the NCAA Tournament began that there had been a report made about an incident involving players, but did not know the identity of all the players involved.

According to Gottfredson, the Eugene Police Department asked the university not to do anything to hinder the investigation, including suspending players or not playing them in games.

"We complied fully with that request and appropriately so," he said. "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 in the investigation."

The university received the police report 16 days after it was notified on April 8 that the investigation was complete. Mullens said he saw the report six days later, on April 30, and the players were suspended within 24 hours.

"It was very clear to us those were individuals we didn't want representing our organization," Mullens said.

Dotson, a sophomore, finished fourth on the team in scoring this past season averaging 9.4 points per game.

Artis, also a sophomore, averaged 4.1 points. He was suspended at the start of the season along with teammate Ben Carter for selling team-issued apparel.

Austin sat out the season after transferring from Providence, where he was accused in another alleged sexual assault case last year. Mullens said Oregon was not aware of that accusation when it accepted his transfer.

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