Dana Altman

Oregon dismisses Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin from program


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.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
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Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.

Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.

“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”

While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.

h/t ShockerHoops.net

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.