With the futures of three Oregon basketball players in doubt, University of Oregon president Michael R. Gottfredson announced Friday afternoon that Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin will no longer be members of the basketball program.
The cases of Dotson, Artis and Austin have received a high level of attention in recent days, with their being accused of raping a female student back in March. However after investigating the matter no charges were filed due to a lack of evidence.
One question that arose in the aftermath was why Dotson and Artis were allowed to continue to play in games, including the NCAA tournament. Earlier this week the school stated that the Eugene Police Department told them to not take action, with the fear being that doing so would jeopardize the criminal investigation.
As for Austin, athletic director Rob Mullens stated Friday that the program was unaware of the incident Austin was involved in at Providence with the school suspending both he and fellow freshman Rodney Bullock for the entire season. The two players were the subjects of a sexual assault investigation that was still open when Oregon accepted Austin as a transfer.
This case comes at a time when the federal government pledging to make sure colleges do more to address sexual assaults on campus.
Also of note during the press conference was Gottfredson stating that the school will bring in an independent panel to take a look at the school’s recruiting practices, and Mullens’ statement that Altman will remain head coach. But the question now is how much will he have to change his recruiting practices, with transfers playing an important role in the program’s success under Altman.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.