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Oregon was aware of rape allegations March 9th, told by police not to take action

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When news of an investigation into an alleged sexual assault committed by three Oregon basketball players broke on Monday evening, the biggest question mark involving the police report was the timetable regarding when the University and the basketball program was made aware of the accusations.

The incident, in which a female student accused Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin of forcibly having sex with her on three different occasions, occurred on March 8th, a Saturday night, after Oregon’s biggest win of the season over Arizona. Dotson and Artis played in Oregon’s Pac-12 tournament games on March 12th and 13th and in their NCAA tournament games on March 20th and 22nd. The alleged victim filed her police report on March 13th. Austin was ineligible to play as he was sitting out due to the NCAA’s transfer rules.

Was Oregon aware of the allegations when they allowed Artis and Dotson to play in the postseason?

And the answer is yes, but they were allowed to play because the police department told the school that “investigative or administrative action” would “jeopardize the integrity of the criminal investigation”, according to a statement released by the university on Tuesday evening.

Senior director of public affairs Tobin Klinger confirmed in the release that Oregon was made aware of the accusations by the alleged victim on March 9th by the woman’s father.

“Upon receiving information such as this, the university’s procedures are to immediately provide services and support,” Klinger wrote. “Prior to the NCAA Tournament, 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.”

The university received the police report on April 24th. By that time, the criminal investigation was complete and the District Attorney had declined to take criminal action against the three players.

The D.A. declined to prosecute for a number of reasons, as detailed here by The Oregonian. They include the fact the alleged victim did not appear to be too intoxicated to consent, according to her friends, and that she had flirted with the players prior to the incident and repeatedly returned to isolated locations with the three players. According to the police report, she also told the investigating officers that she only wanted the players to have their “wrists slapped” and did not want to “ruin their lives.”

The Oregonian is also reporting that all three players were investigated for the crime, and not just Dotson.

The three players have been suspended from the program, and multiple reports have said that they will be dismissed from the team.

Oregon head coach Dana Altman could not be reached for comment.

UNLV’s Stephen Zimmerman out with a knee injury

UNLV forward Stephen Zimmerman Jr. shoots against San Diego State during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
(L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
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The injury Stephen Zimmerman suffered on Saturday will keep the star UNLV freshman out for at least a week, a source told NBC Sports.

The injury is not thought to be serious, however. Zimmerman may be kept out for longer as a precaution, but that’s a result of the Runnin’ Rebels being in a situation where the rest of their regular season is relatively meaningless.

They’re not getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish out league play. With back-up center Ben Carter out with a torn ACL, it’s more important to make sure that Zimmerman, who is averaging 10.6 points and 9.1 boards this season, is totally healthy for the Mountain West tournament.

That tournament, mind you, will be played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.

So the Runnin’ Rebels, regardless of how poor they’ve played this season, will always have a chance to land an automatic bid.

Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this story is how Zimmerman injured the knee. It was a completely avoidable play that came after the whistle, but I’m not sure it was what you would call a “dirty play”. You tell me:

VIDEO: Buddy Hield is ‘all money’ on game-winning three vs. No. 24 Texas

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) takes a shot over Oklahoma State forward Chris Oliver during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
(AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
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With a little more than three minutes left on Monday night, No. 24 Texas held a 57-51 lead on No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman as Jordan Woodard struggled again and Buddy Hield failed to find the rhythm that he had throughout the first three months of the season.

At that point in the game, Hield was 4-for-14 from the floor with 15 points and four turnovers. He had just missed a pair of wide-open threes

“I couldn’t make a shot,” Hield said after the game. But that changed down the stretch. First, Hield finally got a three to drop. On the next possession, he got all the way to the rim and scored. On the following two possessions, he was fouled on a drive to the rim and hit four free throws. And after missing a pull-up jumper, Hield did this:

“I told coach I wanted the ball,” Hield said, “I saw Lammert coming to bite, so I pulled up.”

“It’s all money.”

Hield is already the favorite to win National Player of the Year, and this performance is only going to help his cause further. Think about it like this: Buddy was not good on Monday night, at least according to his (admittedly lofty) standards. But he still finished with 27 points and shook off a cold shooting night just in time to take over down the stretch.

Now think about this: Hield’s head coach has enough confidence in him to hand him the keys in the final minutes despite the fact that he’s struggling and on a team that has two other players that Lon Kruger trusts on game-winning possessions. Think about it. When Oklahoma beat West Virginia at the buzzer, it was Jordan Woodard that the play was drawn up for. When they beat LSU, it was Isaiah Cousins that got the rock on the final possession while Hield was used as a decoy. .

Want to talk about coaching luxuries?

Kruger has three guards that can shoot, penetrate and score, and penetrate and kick, and one of them is the National Player of the Year that doesn’t mind being used as a decoy.