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Report: Oregon’s Bigby-Williams played last season while under investigation for alleged sexual assault

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An Oregon junior played all of the 2017-18 season while under investigation for alleged sexual assault, according to a report from The Daily Emerald.

Kavell Bigby-Williams was accused of sexually assaulting a female in mid-September and has been under investigation since Sept. 19, according to the report. The report states that Oregon coach Dana Altman “athletic director Rob Mullens, and other athletic department staffers were aware UOPD requested Bigby-Williams’ contact information, but nobody asked why UOPD wanted to speak to him or the nature of the case,” citing an athletic department spokesperson.

Bigby-Williams announced via social media Tuesday that he would transfer to LSU.

The news of the investigation is particularly noteworthy because Altman and Oregon came under intense scrutiny in 2014 when it became known that three players – Dominic Artis, Damyean Dotson and Brandon Austin – played in the NCAA tournament while under investigation for sexual assault. Charges against the three were ultimately dismissed.

NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster revisited the incident this past March in a column while the Ducks made their first Final Four in over 70 years, pronouncing that Altman should have lost his job over it.

The 6-foot-11, 230-pound Bigby-Williams played in all but two of Oregon’s games last season, including each of their NCAA tournament games, averaging 3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per game.

Update:

Oregon released the following statement Thursday:

Recent media coverage of an allegation of sexual assault by a former member of the UO’s basketball program has created some questions about the university’s response. The University of Oregon takes very seriously any allegation of sexual assault or misconduct regardless of whether it involves a student athlete.

In most cases involving an accusation of sexual assault, it is impossible and inappropriate to publicly disclose details to protect the rights of victims and those who report violations under Title IX, to comply with federal student privacy laws, and to provide those accused with appropriate due process.

This was a scenario that stemmed from a law enforcement inquiry by the Northern Wyoming Community College police. UO police have no jurisdiction in Wyoming, and it would be inappropriate for the UO to provide details on an inquiry led by another law enforcement agency.

The UO Police Department was contacted in the fall of 2016 to assist the NWCCD police in an interview with Kavell Bigby-Williams. UO athletics assisted UOPD in contacting Bigby-Williams, who declined to be interviewed through his attorney. That information was provided to the NWCCD Police Department.

Information detailing allegations was not shared with the coaching staff to protect integrity of the inquiry. The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics’ only role was to provide contact information for the player and to coordinate with the university’s Title IX coordinator.

University processes, then as now, involve communication between campus police, the Title IX office and athletics administration to determine whether there is a risk to the campus community that requires immediate action. In September 2016, there was insufficient information to warrant interim action. Since September, UOPD has received no further information or requests for assistance from the NWCCD police suggesting the inquiry had advanced in any way.

Tremont Waters commits to LSU

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Tremont Waters ended his recruitment again on Monday afternoon.

The four-star point guard committed to LSU, according to Scout’s Evan Daniels. Waters had originally pledged to Georgetown and had signed his letter of intent. But he asked to be released from his commitment in mid-March, several weeks before head coach John Thompson III was relieved of his duties.

Waters had originally picked Georgetown over Indiana. The Hoyas and Hoosiers were still in contention when he reopened his recruitment while UConn was also reportedly in the mix.

With Brian Bowen committing to Louisville over the weekend and Waters picking LSU, every player in the Rivals 150 are off the board.

Waters’ decision also ensures that even more talent will join the SEC next season. Aside from Kentucky’s annual reload, Missouri brings in consensus top freshman Michael Porter Jr. along with Jeremiah Tillmon. Alabama has a five-man class headlined by two five-star guards Collin Sexton and John Petty. Arkansas, Mississippi State, Auburn, Texas A&M and Georgia all have at least one top-50 prospect joining their respective programs.

Waters is the third commit secured by new head coach Will Wade, who took over the program in March. He joins fellow four-star prospect Brandon Rachal, Galen Alexander, Mayan Kiir, and JUCO shooting guard Daryl Edwards in LSU’s incoming class.

A native of Connecticut, Waters wrapped up his prep career at Notre Dame High School. The 5-foot-11 floor general was rated No. 37 overall by Rivals in the Class of 2017.

LSU lands graduate transfer Jeremy Combs

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Will Wade will add a double-digit scorer to his team in his first year at the helm of LSU.

Jeremy Combs, who averaged double figures in three years at North Texas, has committed to the Tigers as a graduate transfer, meaning he is eligible for the 2017-18 season.

“We are excited that Jeremy Combs will be joining us following his graduation from North Texas,” Wade said in a statement. “His ability to score inside and to 15 feet along with his aggressiveness on the boards will be an asset for us next season.”

He missed the final 16 games of this past season. As a sophomore for the Mean Green, the 6-foot-7 Combs averaged 14.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

LSU has lost Antonio Blakeney, who averaged 17.2 points per game, to the NBA Draft.

Combs joins guards Daryl Edwards and Brandon Rachal, and forwards Mayan Kiir and Galen Alexander in the incoming class for LSU.

Report: Simmons slams NCAA in documentary

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Ben Simmons played just one season of college basketball, but it was enough for him to develop a strong opinion about the sport’s governing body.

“The NCAA is really (expletive) up,” Simmons, in documentary set to air this week, said, according to ESPN. “Everybody’s making money except the players. We’re the ones waking up early as hell to be the best teams and do everything they want us to do and then the players get nothing. They say education, but if I’m there for a year, I can’t get much education.”

The documentary, ‘One and Done,’ is set to air Friday evening on Showtime. In it, Simmons also claims to have been offered cars, jewelry, a house and “anything.” Simmons, who was drafted No. 1 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in June after his one season at LSU, said that he had no plans on attending second-semester class after earning eligibility with his first-semester grades.

“The NCAA is messed up,” Simmons said. “I don’t have a voice. … I don’t get paid to do it. Don’t say I’m an amateur and make me take pictures and sign stuff and go make hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars off one person. … I’m going off on the NCAA. Just wait, just wait. I can be a voice for everybody in college. I’m here because I have to be here [at LSU]. … I can’t get a degree in two semesters, so it’s kind of pointless. I feel like I’m wasting time.”

Simmons’ sentiments are hardly new. The NCAA’s stance on amateurism has never been more tenuous with assaults on all sides regarding student-athlete compensation. There’s also been concerns about one-and-dones bailing on classes after winter break since the NBA instituted the age limit in 2006. And just about only James Naismith predates impermissible benefits.

Simmons, though, does provide candid thoughts on the matter from someone who lived in that world as a super-prospect. His case may be extreme, but it certainly shines a light on the value of college players beyond their scholarship.

The issue with Simmons being the messenger of such a position is that he went out of his way to play NCAA basketball. As an Australian, Simmons could have declared for the 2015 NBA draft, but instead came to the United States for his senior year of high school and then chose to remain stateside to play for the Tigers, rather than go to the D-league or foreign leagues.

Simmons chose to play college hoops, even though the ability to bypass the NCAA was more readily available to him than most players. That doesn’t mean his message about the NCAA and its restrictions on student-athletes doesn’t have merit or truth to it, but it’s probably going to make it more difficult for him to make that point.

When presented with multiple options of making money playing basketball or doing it for a scholarship at LSU, Simmons chose the scholarship and the marketing that comes with it. And that’s why his words sound a lot more like buyer’s remorse than anything, even if their substance rings true.

Blakeney’s NBA early entrant appearance a mistake, Jones says

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LSU’s freshman Antonio Blakeney guard announced a week ago he planned to return to Baton Rouge for his sophomore season after initially deciding to test the NBA draft waters.

Apparently, the NBA never got the message.

Blakeney was among those listed as an early entrant on the list the NBA distributed Tuesday night, but, according to LSU, it was simply a mistake.

“Nothing has changed from Antonio Blakeney’s (decision) last week to withdraw from the draft,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said in a statement released by the school. “This is just a case of the formality of the paperwork not reaching the NBA Office prior to the preparation of the list.”

How’s that for a mix up?

Tigers fans no doubt had a momentary freakout when seeing Blakeney, who averaged 12.6 points per game last year, on the list given how vital he’ll be for the team next year with Ben Simmons and Tim Quarterman leaving for the NBA after one of college basketball’s most disappointing seasons in which LSU missed the NCAA tournament and turned down an NIT opportunity despite having the player (Simmons) who spent most of the last year as the presumptive No. 1 pick the 2016 draft.

But, as long as there’s not an even bigger miscommunication as the one apparently that happened here, Blakeney will be back for what no doubt will be a critical season for Jones.

LSU coach: Tigers won’t play in any postseason tourneys

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) LSU freshman Ben Simmons’ college career could be finished.

Coach Johnny Jones announced Sunday that the Tigers will not participate in a postseason tournament after being left out of the NCAA field.

The Tigers (19-14) finished in a tie for third place in the Southeastern Conference for the second straight year. They failed to play up to expectations created by the arrival of Simmons, who might declare for the upcoming NBA draft.

Jones says LSU “will be able to utilize this time to get better and start preparations for next season.” The coach says the Tigers fell short of their mark of getting to the NCAA Tournament and he takes full responsibility, adding he’ll do what is necessary to ensure LSU accomplishes one of its main goals in the future.