Brandon Austin

Michael Gottfredson, Rob Mullens
Associated Press

Dismissed Oregon basketball player Austin sues school, administrators

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Back in May 2014 Brandon Austin was one of three players dismissed from the Oregon basketball program for their roles in an alleged sexual assault. While no charges were filed in the incident, the details of the full report on the case were such that the school decided to part ways with Austin, Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson.

This would be the second time that Austin left a program under such circumstances, as he was given a year-long suspension at Providence (and ultimately decided to transfer) for his involvement in another sexual assault investigation that did not result in either he or then-teammate Rodney Bullock being charged.

While Artis (UTEP) and Dotson (Houston) have found new schools at which to play, Austin hasn’t been able to find a new Division I program to call home. And on Thursday it was reported by The Oregonian that Austin has filed a $7.5 million lawsuit against the University of Oregon, former school president Michael R. Gottfredson, Oregon director of Student Conduct & Community Standards Sandy Weintraub, assistant dean of students Chicora Martin and vice president of student life Robin Holmes.

While harm to his professional prospects is one of the reasons cited in the suit, Austin is also arguing that his rights were violated in the process that ultimately led to his dismissal (and 10-year ban from campus).

The suit claims that prior to his expulsion, Austin was “outrageously suspended” from the university and that his rights were violated when the defendants “refused to (among other things) allow Mr. Austin to subpoena witnesses who would be supportive of his defense, refused to provide unredacted reports, refused to provide a contested case hearing, refused to allow cross-examination, and otherwise refused to provide the due process required by the United States Constitution and applicable laws.”

The suit also claims that Holmes refused to respond to Austin’s requests for an appeal and wouldn’t return multiple phone calls from Austin’s counsel “in violation of Mr. Austin’s right to procedural and substantive due process.”

After being dismissed from the Oregon program Austin played at Northwest Florida State College last season, helping the team win an NJCAA national title. However the on-court success did not result in another chance at the Division I level due to the off-court issues.

Student who accused Oregon players of sexual assault settles lawsuit for $800,000

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The female student who accused three Oregon basketball players of rape settled her lawsuit on Tuesday afternoon.

The lawsuit was settled for $800,000, free tuition and policy changes to how the university treats transfer applications from those with disciplinary history, according to the woman’s attorney. Brandon Austin, one of the three players involved in the alleged incident, was accused of sexual assault at Providence in 2013. The lawsuit claimed that Oregon head coach Dana Altman, as well as other Oregon officials, knew of the prior accusations against Austin, who transferred to Oregon in January 2014.

“I am so glad to have this case behind me today and to be able to focus on my studies,” the woman said in a statement released by her attorney to NBCSports.com. “I am very grateful for the outpouring of support that I have received from students, faculty, and other organizations. The response from the UO community has been remarkable and I know that the increased awareness around these issues on our campus can only serve to help us. I would be remiss to not specifically thank the Dean of Students Office and my therapist from the UCTC and other UCTC personnel for their continued assistance throughout this experience. Without those services, it would have been very difficult to stay in school here during these events and for that I am very grateful.”

The lawsuit from March 2014, accused Oregon basketball players Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Austin of sexual assault. While no charges were ever filed due to lack of evidence, all three were dismissed from the team on May 9, 2014. Dotson signed with Houston in April. Artis committed to UTEP in May. Austin, who has yet to play a Division I game, played last season at Northwest Florida State.

The accuser had voluntarily dismissed Altman from the lawsuit on August 1.

Oregon head coach Dana Altman: ‘We have had a bad year and we do have to address that’

Dana Altman
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For Oregon head coach Dana Altman, four 20-plus win seasons and two consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament have been overshadowed by the growing list of off-the-court issues involving members of his basketball team.

In the spring, three players — Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin — were all accused of sexual assault by a female student. While no charges were filed, all three were dismissed from school and are barred from campus for the next four years. Austin, who transferred midway through last year, had a been accused of sexual assault at his previous school, Providence.

Sine late July, Ray Kasongo and JaQuan Lyle, two Oregon commits, failed to enroll into school. Just this past week, Elgin Cook and Jalil Abdul-Bassit, two of the three returning scholarship players, were cited for shoplifting.

MORE: Oregon one of five teams on the decline in 2014-2015

On Thursday, after months of turmoil within his program, Altman spoke to reporters.

“We have had a bad year, and we do have to address that,” Altman said, via Austin Meek, columnist for the Register-Guard.

According to Meek, Altman has altered the team’s living arrangements. The Ducks are required to live across from the Matthew Knight Arena, in the same apartment complex as the graduate assistants. Whether or not those changes occurred after the Oct. 5 shoplifting incident was not stated.

With only nine scholarship players — just one standing taller than 6-foot-7 — the Ducks are in for an uphill battle in 2014-2015. It’s something Altman, who has exceeded on-the-floor expectations before at Oregon, will have to do again in Year 4, as he needs to also restore the image of the program in the process.

Oregon begins the season on Nov. 14 against Coppin State.

Former Oregon guard Brandon Austin has found a landing spot

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Brandon Austin has been accepted into Northwest Florida State, according to a report from ESPN.com. It will be the third college that Austin has attended and the fourth program that he has been associated with in the last year.

“We are confident in our ability to provide Brandon with the infrastructure and support system our student-athletes need in order to be successful in the classroom, on the court, and in the community,” athletic director Ramsey Ross said. “At our level of athletics, we have a unique and powerful opportunity to provide student-athletes a setting to improve their lives by continuing to pursue their educational and athletic goals, and Brandon will be no different in that regard.”

Austin began his collegiate career at Providence, but was suspended from the team for a year after he was accused of sexual assault by a female student. He left in between semesters and enrolled at Oregon, where he was booted from the school this spring after he was, again, accused of sexually assaulting a student. Charges have not been filed in either case.

Earlier this month, Austin was reportedly headed to Hutchinson CC in Kansas, but the school eventually decided against admitting Austin.

Northwest Florida is a Junior College powerhouse that has produced, among other, Louisville’s starting point guard Chris Jones. Current Wichita State assistant coach Steve Forbes was the head coach there through the 2012-2013 season.

The current head coach is Steve DeMeo, a longtime assistant at the Division I level that is taking on a serious risk bringing Austin into the program. Austin is a terrific talent on the basketball court, an athletic, 6-foot-7 point guard that can put up big scoring numbers. He’s the kind of player that could win a JuCo program a national title and earn DeMeo a higher-paying job back at the D-I level.

But with those two accusations hanging over his head, if Austin gets into any kind of trouble while on the Northwest Florida campus, DeMeo’s job — and, frankly, his career — could be on the line.

“The college has decided to give this young man an opportunity to continue his education,” DeMeo said. “We have the experience, support and resources to help Brandon get back on track towards graduating and help him be a successful student athlete on and off the court.”

Considering that Austin has not been indicted, let alone convicted, with a crime in either instance, I don’t necessarily think that it’s wrong that he gets another chance at turning his life around.

But if I’m running a well-established program, even one in the JuCo ranks, I don’t think that I would risk being the one to bring him on board.

Rhode Island grand jury won’t indict Brandon Austin, Rodney Bullock following sexual assault investigation

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Prior to the start of the 2013-14 season, newcomers Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock were expected to compete for playing time as freshmen at Providence. However the two players were alleged to have sexually assaulted a female student in November, with a school disciplinary board ruling that Austin and Bullock would be prohibited from playing for Ed Cooley at all in 2013-14. With the school coming to that conclusion there was still the issue of whether or not a Rhode Island grand jury would indict them on charges of sexual assault.

Wednesday afternoon it was reported by the Providence Journal that the grand jury has declined to indict the two, citing insufficient evidence as the reason for the decision.

“The investigation into allegations of sexual assault by Rodney Bullock and Brandon Austin has concluded,” the office of Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said in a statement according to the Journal. “The allegations concerned an incident which allegedly occurred on November 3, 2013, in Providence.

“The investigation was presented to a Statewide Grand Jury. The Grand Jury determined there was insufficient evidence to bring any charges against Rodney Bullock. After presentation of the evidence to the Grand Jury with respect to Brandon Austin, it was determined there was legally insufficient evidence to ask the Grand Jury to consider charges against Austin.

“The Office of Attorney General cannot release further details surrounding the Grand Jury as disclosure is prohibited by law.”

The two players chose different paths in the aftermath of their suspension, with Austin transferring to Oregon and Bullock remaining at Providence. And while the remainder of the season was relatively quiet for the suspended Bullock the same can’t be said for Austin, who was investigated for another sexual assault at Oregon.

Austin, Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis weren’t charged in the case, but all three were dismissed from the program and subsequently banned from the Oregon campus for up to ten years. It remains to be seen where the three players wind up, with Artis and Dotson still looking for schools and Austin not headed to Hutchinson (Kansas) CC despite reports earlier this month that he would be joining the program.

Report: Former Oregon, Providence forward Brandon Austin lands at junior college

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Former Oregon and Providence forward Brandon Austin will try to re-start his college basketball career at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, according to a report from JucoJunction.com.

Austin, a redshirt freshman forward, and former Oregon teammates Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson were accused of sexually assaulting a female classmate overnight from March 8 to 9 at multiple off-campus locations, but Eugene, Oregon prosecutors declined to pursue the case because there was insufficient evidence to “prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The trio was later banned from Oregon’s campus for up to 10 years due to sexual misconduct.

But that wasn’t the only time Austin was involved in a legal issue last season. The 6-foot-6 forward was also investigated for a sexual assault at Providence, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Austin was the No. 45 player in the Class of 2013 nationally, according to Rivals, so he has some ability, but he really needs to get his life in order if he wants to play college basketball — at any level.

Hutchinson Community College head coach Steve Eck is also putting a lot of pressure on himself to help turn Austin’s basketball career around and Eck could find himself in hot water if Austin gets into any further trouble.

It’s worth noting that both Artis and Dotson are still searching for another college basketball program.