Oregon releases statement regarding handling of Bigby-Williams sexual assault investigation
The University of Oregon has released a statement about the Emerald’s report on the sexual assault investigation of former men’s basketball player Kavell Bigby-Williams.
Bigby-Williams recently announced he is transferring to Louisiana State University.
Here is the full statement found on AroundtheO:
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 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.
The university and its athletic department have been criticized for how it handled its duties in the investigation. They were criticized because when UOPD asked for Bigby-Williams’ contact information, the athletic department complied but failed to ask why they needed the information, according to athletic department spokesman Greg Walker.
Head coach Dana Altman did not inquire about the nature of a rape investigation of three players in 2014. He was criticized after it was revealed the three players — Dominic Artis, Damyean Dotson and Brandon Austin — participated in the NCAA Tournament while under investigation.
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