U.S. Senator Ron Wyden requests answers for UO’s handling of basketball player’s rape allegations, Title IX violations

This post has been updated at 2:24 p.m. to include a statement from the university.

Oregon Senator and University of Oregon alumnus Ron Wyden sent UO President Michael Schill a letter today addressing the recent allegations that the UO did not follow standard operating Title IX procedures when investigating the Kavell Bigby-Williams rape allegations.

The letter came in response to a recent Sports Illustrated article written by UO student reporter and former Daily Emerald sports editor Kenny Jacoby, who first reported that Bigby-Williams was under investigation for rape last year, reported by the Daily Emerald.

The two-page letter written by Wyden details many of the allegations made against the UO in the Sports Illustrated article and share Wyden’s concerns with the alleged mishandling of the investigation.

“If these reports are accurate they raise major questions about the university’s commitment to creating and maintaining a safe campus environment,” said Wyden in the letter.

Wyden also presents five questions that he asks Schill to answer by November 20. The questions ask Schill to inform Wyden of what actions were taken during the initial investigation as well as if any action was taken in response to the two articles that brought to light the rape allegations and mishandling allegations.

Via UO spokesperson Tobin Klinger in response to the letter:

“We appreciate the Senator’s thoughts and will respond to his letter as he asks. As has been said before, the university followed the same process as necessary under nuanced and challenging circumstances. While we understand that at first glance the selective information provided by the media may appear concerning, we would also respond that the media often does not have the entirety of the information due to privacy laws which we vigorously enforce. We have shared, however, that we did not open up a conduct investigation because the alleged survivor was clear and consistent with her request that no action be taken, and we did not view the information as meeting our criteria for overriding a survivor’s wishes. We take any and all incidents of sexual violence very seriously and have the protocols in place that give agency and privacy to victims and survivors while maintaining the safety of our campus.”

You can find a PDF of the letter here.

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Casey Crowley

Casey Crowley

Casey Crowley is a Senior News Reporter for the Emerald. He is in his final year as a journalism major. He likes sports, movies and going to concerts.

Feel free to contact him at [email protected]