Tuesday night turned into a battle of the lawyer statement for the three former Oregon basketball players accused of sexual assault and their accuser.
It started with the lawyers for Dominic Artis, Brandon Austin and Damyean Dotson releasing a 1,508 word joint statement in response the Oregon’s decision to suspend all three former players for four-to-ten years, depending on how long their accuser remains a student at the school. The players were kicked off the basketball team back in May.
If you would like to read the entire statement from the three players, the Oregonian has published it here.
In essence, it’s a step-by-step breakdown of why no legal action was taken against three players and how it’s unfair that they are now viewed as guilty in the court of public opinion despite never even being charged with a crime. For example:
We support firm policies against sexual violence. We want all students on campus to feel safe in their learning environment. But in the rush to judgment in the matter of these three young men, justice was not served. The process the University uses to investigate must include safeguards so that the accused are treated with fairness and impartiality. The points we have made illustrate just some of the many problems within the current system. Problems we hope the University will address as they undertake to re-examine and overhaul their procedures.
John Clune, who represents the accuser, responded with a statement of his own:
This is a pretty poorly spun version of the night in question which noticeably omits all of the facts that incriminated their clients. The description doesn’t mention that two of the three men admitted in police recorded phone calls that what they did to the victim that night was wrong with one of the men calling their behavior “very inappropriate and not something he would want to happen to his mother or sister”. The third man who refused to give a statement is facing his second sexual assault allegation in the past year.
I can’t blame the lawyers though as they are just trying to help their clients explain some pretty ugly behavior that has gotten a lot of press.
PREVIOUSLY: Dana Altman deserves to be fired
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.
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.