Former basketball players Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson file lawsuit against University of Oregon
Former Oregon basketball players Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson have filed a lawsuit against the University of Oregon seeking $10 million each, it was reported by ESPN on Tuesday.
Artis, Dotson and fellow former player Brandon Austin were accused of raping a female student at an off-campus party in March 2014. The UO dismissed them and banned them from campus for up to 10 years in May 2014.
“The way the University of Oregon handled this case showed a misunderstanding of both the students and the law, and it was so troubling that I had no choice but to file this suit,” Alex Spiro, Artis and Dotson’s attorney, said via phone call.
The lawsuit claims the investigation was biased against Artis and Dotson, did not allow them to prevent witnesses, denied them due process and “engineered a ‘kangaroo court’ hearing with the purpose of finding that they committed a sexual assault that did not in reality occur.” It states the charges against Artis and Dotson and their dismissal diminished their chances of playing in the NBA.
“These are NBA prospects at the prime of their lives, whose careers and futures have been stripped away by just horrible conduct on the part of the University,” Spiro said via phone call. “Even conservatively, $10 million is not a big figure.”
In addition to the University, Artis and Dotson’s suit also names former President Michael Gottfredson, Vice President of Student Life and Interim Dean of Students Robin Holmes and two others.
UO spokesman Tobin Klinger said this lawsuit doesn’t surprise the university.
“Their attorney has reached out multiple times seeking a financial settlement that we did not entertain,” Klinger said in a statement. “As we said when their former teammate Mr. Austin filed his claims in October, we intend to vigorously defend the university. We remain confident that all these individuals were afforded fair and consistent due process that fully complied with the university’s legal obligations.”
Jane Doe, the survivor of the alleged sexual assault, settled her 11-month lawsuit against UO, in which she accused UO of violating her Title IX rights, for $800,000 and free tuition in August 2015. She dismissed head coach Dana Altman from a civil lawsuit.
Austin filed his own suit against Oregon seeking $7.5 million in October. The lawsuit states: “Astonishingly, Oregon’s counsel contacted Mr. Austin’s counsel, in essence admitted that Oregon believed the female student was not telling the truth about the sexual assault, and asked for Mr. Austin’s help in defending the suit.”
Austin and his teammate Rodney Bullock were accused of sexual assault at Providence College in 2013. Although criminal charges were not brought against them, both were suspended indefinitely from playing for Providence’s basketball team.
Artis and Doston are all currently playing Division I basketball for University of Texas at El Paso and University of Houston, respectively. Brandon Austin was awarded a basketball scholarship to Northwest Florida State College, but no longer plays.
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