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Panicked UO communicators spew nonsense in basketball allegation response

8/3/2017 update: No charges filed against former Dana Altman player

Dylan Darling has the latest in the RG here:

Police at a small college in Wyoming have closed a sexual assault case involving a member of the University of Oregon’s Final Four basketball team and no charges will be filed. …

Presumably this means the UOPD and NWCCDPD police reports will soon be released.

6/22/2017 update: And don’t get me started on their grammar. I’ve made a few notes on the response below, the official version is posted on Around the O:

The university issued the following statement June 22:

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 [or not] it involves a student athlete.

In most cases involving accusation[s] of sexual assault, it is impossible [perhaps you mean to claim it is illegal?] and inappropriate to publicly disclose details to protect the rights of victims [and yet police departments and prosecutors do this all the time by using pseudonyms – see for example the Jane Doe documents for the last basketball rape allegations] and those who report violations under Title IX, to comply with federal student privacy laws [say, don’t athletes have to sign the FERPA release?], and to provide those accused with appropriate due process. [Uh, so then why did the UOPD (eventually) release the police report to the Emerald? See it here.]

This was a scenario [scenario is the word when you’re play-acting crises and responses, not when you’re responding to an actual event] that stemmed from a law enforcement inquiry by the Northern Wyoming Community College [District] police.UO police have no jurisdiction in Wyoming, [thanks, good to know] and it would be inappropriate for the UO to provide details on an inquiry led by another law enforcement agency. [Even if doing so might protect UO students? Did the UOPD ask the NWCCDPD if they cared?]

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. [It’s OK, we know what you were trying to say here.] That information was provided to the NWCCD Police Department. 

Information detailing allegations was not shared with the coaching staff to protect [the] integrity of the inquiry. [We can understand why the UOPD wouldn’t trust Dana Altman, but why wasn’t it shared with AD Rob Mullens and President Mike Schill? Does the UOPD not trust them either?] 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. [What does coordinate mean here? Was a Title IX investigation started?]

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. [Did they ask? And did any new information develop? Was anyone alerted to look for it?]

6/22/2017 update: Dana Altman brings UO more of that national publicity money just can’t buy

Now in the Washington Post here:

Kavell Bigby-Williams played one season for the Oregon men’s basketball team, helping the Ducks to the Final Four in 2016-17. For the entirety of that season, he was being investigated for sexual assault by police in Wyoming for an incident that took place in September near Gillette College, the junior college from which Bigby-Williams transferred to Oregon.

According to a report by the Emerald’s Kenny Jacoby, a woman accused Bigby-Williams of sexually assaulting her at an apartment near the Gillette College campus sometime between 10 p.m. on Sept. 17 and 3 a.m. on Sept. 18, about a week before fall classes began at Oregon. The Northern Wyoming Community College District (NWCCD) campus police then began its investigation, which according to Jacoby remains open, though NWCCD police refused to comment about it. Bigby-Williams has since announced his intention to transfer to Louisiana State.

It remains unclear whether Ducks Coach Dana Altman, Athletic Director Rob Mullens or other school officials were aware of the specifics of the investigation. …

For the nostalgic, here’s video of Duck Coach Dana Altman, AD Rob Mullens, and former President Mike Gottfredson pretending they didn’t know anything about the previous allegations:

6/21/2017: New Duck basketball sex assault allegations

Reporter Kenny Jacoby has the latest in the Emerald, here:

Former Oregon forward Kavell Bigby-Williams played the 2016-17 men’s basketball season while under criminal investigation for an alleged sexual assault, the Emerald has learned.

… UO President Michael Schill did not know about the sexual assault allegation involving Bigby-Williams and declined to share his thoughts on it.

“I don’t have any awareness of that,” Schill said. “In any event, I can’t comment on an individual student. What if I was asked by another reporter about you being obnoxious? Would you want me to tell them that?”

… Bigby-Williams played 37 games for Oregon this season, averaging 9.8 minutes and 3.0 points. He played increased minutes off the bench during the Ducks’ run to the NCAA Tournament Final Four, after center Chris Boucher went down with an injury.

He recently asked for and was granted a release to explore a transfer to another school. On June 20, Bigby-Williams committed to transfer to LSU.

For the record I’ve had many conversations with Kenny Jacoby, and I’ve always found him to be polite, smart, calm, well-informed, and curious. I hope my saying that is not a FERPA violation, because I doubt that Emerald reporters sign the same release form that Dana Altman’s student-athletes must sign, before they can get their scholarships and play ball:


  1. honest Uncle Bernie 06/22/2017

    Schill does not channel Trump very well.

    He is right about the student, I guess; why not leave it at that?

    • son of Chucky 06/22/2017

      In fairness to Schill, he gets paid not to know anything happening at the University unless Chuck Lillis tells him first.

  2. Steve P 06/22/2017

    Another Lorraine Davis/Dana Altman “special admit”.

  3. working hard 06/22/2017

    The University works so very hard to make sure Schill has plausible deniability of any athletes committing crimes. Players gonna play!

      • UO Matters Post author | 06/22/2017

        “Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens, head basketball coach Dana Altman, and other staff members in the athletic department knew the UOPD were requesting Bigby-Williams’ contact information, but they didn’t ask why.”

        Just as when the Ducks recruited Brandon Austin, but Altman and Mullens never thought to ask why his previous university had suspended him for a year.

        • UO Matters Post author | 06/22/2017

          My favorite show growing up, my Dad and I watched every week. He fought in WWII and when it ended he was put in charge of a camp for german POW’s outside Munich for a few months, until the army decided to just let everyone go home. He said he spent most of the time playing chess with the german officers – which violated the no-fraternization rule – and arguing with the army for more food.

  4. Anonymous 06/22/2017

    The Schill quote is so puzzling to me. Just comes out of left field.

    • working hard 06/22/2017

      What if a reporter asked me if the UO president is smug and overpaid? Should I tell them that?

  5. honest Uncle Bernie 06/22/2017

    Wasn’t it Schill who liked to talk about “the gang who couldn’t straight” in reference to his predecessors?

    • UO Matters Post author | 06/22/2017

      I think I heard that somewhere. Maybe the problem is big-time college sports, and not the particular administrators who have to cope with whatever craziness the Duck coaches and their boosters serve up for UO?

  6. Professor proud of UO student 06/22/2017

    So far I see one, and only one, good thing for the UO in this mess. And that is what the communications office should be bragging about: we have a star investigative reporter here. Not only is Kenny Jacoby apparently resourceful and brave and smart, but he is doing a very good thing for justice and for the UO by pursuing this story. My message to Jacoby is “thank you.”
    I look forward to following Jacoby’s career in the years ahead. I expect he will accomplish more great things and that some day the UO will invite Kenny Jacoby back to campus and give him a big award.

    • UO Matters Post author | 06/22/2017


  7. Anas clypeata 06/22/2017

    The quality of this writing just plain sucks.

    “Information detailing allegations was not shared with the coaching staff to protect [the] integrity of the inquiry.”

    So information was shared with the coaching staff, but not for reasons that protect integrity?

    I always recommend that my students read their prose aloud, slowly, to find problems with grammar and phrasing. If there is an adult around, read it aloud to the adult. I’m guessing that in this case, the former was not attempted, and the latter was not possible.

  8. Anonymous 06/22/2017

    Mike Gottfredson is reading and loving every word of this.

    • million dollar baby 06/22/2017

      Gottbott is seemingly incapable of showing emotion, which always struck me as unusual for a man with the voice of a muppet.

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