Woman involved in UO basketball sex case sues university, Dana Altman

Update: The complaint is here:

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Update: Andrew Greif in the Oregonian. Brandon Austin’s mother calls Dana Altman a liar:

… The players were barred from campus for at least four years, and up to 10, in June, by the university. But before that discipline was handed down, the suit alleges, the university struck a deal before its scheduled hearing. The players waived their right to a hearing in exchange for an “administrative conference,” the suit says, an agreement that gave the university full control over the discipline. In exchange, the suit says the players were not expelled and that their transcripts would omit any reference to “sexual misconduct” — both of which would make transferring to another school more difficult.

“UO delayed taking any action on the sexual assaults for over two months while it prioritized winning basketball games over the health, safety and welfare of its students, including plaintiff,” it says.

… Within days of the police report going public on May 5, Oregon announced it had actually dismissed the players back on May 1. Throughout, Altman and athletic director Rob Mullens said that though they knew Austin had been suspended and under investigation by Providence College before transferring to Oregon in January, they never knew the reason.

“He did not give specifics so my line of questioning probably didn’t go deep enough there in retrospect,” Altman said May 9. “But I did not have a specific reason.”

The suit disputes that.

“Upon information and belief, Altman and other UO personnel were fully aware of the basis for Austin’s season-long suspension,” it says. “In fact, Austin’s mother, when asked about what the UO coaches knew, said, ‘We told them everything. They knew everything.'”

Just the sort of info UO needs to fire Dana Altman for cause, and avoid having to pay him $12M or so in severance.

1/8/2015: That’s the headline of the story by Josephine Woolington in the Register Guard, online now:

The student who says she was raped by three University of Oregon basketball players is suing the university and UO head basketball coach Dana Altman for allegedly violating her federal civil rights for recruiting one of the involved players to attend the university after he had previously been accused of rape elsewhere.

In the lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court in Eugene, the 18-year-old woman, referred to as “Jane Doe,” argues that the UO and Altman prioritized winning basketball games over her claim that she had been raped repeatedly by the now former players, Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin.

So it looks like we may finally get a serious public review of how UO handled this case. The UO Matters timeline is here. Video of Dana Altman’s news conference from May:

And you can watch former UO President Mike Gottfredson, VP for Student Life Robin Holmes, and AD Rob Mullens, doing their best pump and fake here:

Today’s message from Interim President Scott Coltrane to the Campus Community:

Dear Campus Community,

Today, the University of Oregon was notified about a lawsuit filed by a current student related to a reported incident of sexual misconduct. While unfortunate, this filing is not unanticipated.

The university would prefer not to be in litigation with any student. We have been as respectful and supportive as possible of the student, including immediately implementing support services and appropriately honoring her choice of process, once hearing of her experience.

The university disagrees with the allegations against it and believes that it acted in accordance with the law, including Title IX. This litigation in no way undermines the university’s on-going commitment to support the student inside and outside of the classroom.

It has long been UO’s priority to provide support and services to any student in need and make our campus a safe place for all members of our community. We have regularly reassessed our efforts, implemented changes and added resources to address sexual assault. Our current efforts are guided by recommendations from the University Senate, the President’s Review Panel and a university-wide analysis of prevention efforts, which was coordinated by Student Life. We welcome feedback from the campus on our progress.

To be clear, UO’s review of transfer applications for all students includes an evaluation of academic credentials and potential campus fit. Enrollment decisions are made based on the information made available to us by applicants and our colleagues nationally.

The university has posted a timeline of events, which has been publicly available since mid-May. It outlines the aspects of the university’s response we can share while still protecting the privacy and rights of those involved.

As a community, each of us must work hard to provide support and services to any student in need and make our campus a safe place. Thank you for being part of our community.

Sincerely,

Scott Coltrane

Interim President

Actually, Athletic Director Rob Mullens and his minions have refused to meet with the Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, which Gottfredson replaced with his own “President’s Advisory Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics the day after he got the UOPD’s report on the rape allegations.

One of the unresolved questions this lawsuit may bring to light is the role of Lorraine Davis and the “Special Athletics Admissions Advisory Group” or whatever euphemism she is currently using.

One of the many posts on the redactions of public records showing how UO responded to the allegations by Dave Hubin’s public records office is here. Perhaps the discovery process will show whether Hubin’s redactions were in fact legal under ORS 192:

So, does the alleged victim have a case on her argument that Altman didn’t do enough to prevent his “fine young men” from engaging in this sort of behavior? In the news conference Altman admits that these three recruits didn’t get any training on sexual abuse prevention. The FHS 199 course that included a bit on this was canceled by the Senate Committee on Courses once they discovered it was a sham, the athletic department still hasn’t bothered to fix and resubmit it, and in any case transfers don’t seem to need to take it. Altman says in the news conference that he doesn’t know what other training his players got.

Apparently Assistant AD Tom Hart’s priceless sessions on avoiding Russian prostitutes from Egyptian motorcycle gangs were just for the football team:

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13 Responses to Woman involved in UO basketball sex case sues university, Dana Altman

  1. ==================== JOURNALIST ==================== says:

    Have you talked with members of the Senate and IAC for their perspective on the administration’s efforts?

    “Our current efforts are guided by recommendations from the University Senate … “

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    • uomatters says:

      Yeah, that does sound like Coltrane is setting the Senate and the IAC up to take the fall for the next case. Looks like Kim Sheehan’s PAGIA is off the hook though.

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  2. Bat Girl says:

    See Oregonian: http://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/index.ssf/2015/01/university_of_oregon_and_dana.html#incart_m-rpt-1

    The Universities behavior was despicable…and typical…again…

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Anybody else think Scott Coltrane spamming the entire campus to respond to the lawsuit was a dick move?

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    • just different says:

      Here’s hoping it backfires the way other dick-move spam has. Amazing how the administration is desperately trying to seem like it speaks for the university community.

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  4. used to be a fan says:

    “Throughout, Altman and athletic director Rob Mullens said that though they knew Austin had been suspended and under investigation by Providence College before transferring to Oregon in January, they never knew the reason.”

    Really? Every basketball fan knew via sports media he had been dismissed regarding a sexual abuse accusation. But to UO athletics it was “just a rumor” and even with that weak rumor denial it apparently was one they claim now they hadn’t even heard!

    Altman and company are either not credible at all or are terribly bad at vetting their recruits who they harvest from all around the world. I can’t stomach him anymore and refuse to watch games this year.

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  5. ényo says:

    Where’s a good cartoonist when you need one? UO needs its own Charlie Hebdo. At UO you’d never run out of material.

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  6. Leporello says:

    Not only was Coltrane’s spamming the entire question a “dick move,” I believe it is highly unethical. Normally one would expect the administration to defer public comment on any and all current litigation. Here, he’s obviously trying to sway the court of public opinion, and perhaps more perversely, trying to establish the “party line” for all to follow. Frankly, I think its despicable, and has only server to lower my already abysmal assessment of Dr. Coltrane’s leadership style.

    But this is not a new tactic for his team. He tried to get influence public opinion by spamming the campus with all the awful news about those spoiled brats during the recent GTFF strike.

    Hello Scott, we’re not in the bargaining room, and we’re not party to the administration’s legal machinations, so please stop sending out this hackneyed, biased, erroneous, and vapid spam. You’re not fooling anybody.

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  7. duck season says:

    It appears as usual the over paid admin’ers did not like the stories of the accused players or the alleged victim and created their own story instead. As only can be done by these mastermind adminsitrators that represent the best of the best faculty at UO, they elegantly positioned themselves into a tight corner in which all parties have good reason to file suit against the U. Outside legal help is needed to cover up the constant lack of integrity and competence that pervades ever growing layer of university administrators. Making that information available will quickly reveal the dire situation going on behind the scenes. Perhaps Chip Kelly recognized this incompetence and bolted for the NFL rather than facing any situations similar to this…..

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  8. Hippo says:

    Is the University paying for Altman’s defense? Would they pay the legal bills of, say, a (real) professor accused of sexual harassment?

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    • Underemployed lawyer says:

      One law firm cannot defend both Altman and the University. Individual defendants in these situations need independent counsel. Altman’s interests do not coincide with the University’s, and vice-verse. Both sides will be trying to throw the other under the bus in no time.

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  9. Working GTF says:

    Coltrane’s email is a despicable act, and it can only serve to further chill reporting of sexual assaults on this campus, especially when athletes are involved. I would say our President should be ashamed, but he has already proved himself to be beyond any such emotion.

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