Three former basketball players appeal to court, request jury trial against the university

The No. 17 Oregon Ducks play the California Bears at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore. on Jan. 9, 2014. (Michael Shaw/Emerald)

A United States appeals court in Seattle rejected an appeal by former Oregon men’s basketball players, Dominic Artis, Damyean Dotson and Brandon Austin, who claimed they were discriminated against when they were dismissed from the University of Oregon following rape allegations in 2014.

A three-judge panel in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision by a federal judge in 2015 who threw out a lawsuit for gender discrimination filed by the former Oregon players.

"The university respects the decision of the court. We are grateful to the court for acknowledging the hard work of the student conduct team and their handling of this very difficult matter," UO said in a statement provided by spokesperson Molly Blancett. "Specifically, the court credited the 'University’s focus on encouraging students’ personal integrity and cooperative (rather than coercive) interpersonal behavior, interest in providing an environment free of sexual misconduct, and setting up a disciplinary system that provides students an opportunity to be heard.'”

The players sued for $10 million in 2016 ahead of the 2016 NCAA tournament. UO dismissed the players from the school for code-of-conduct violations without criminal charges being filed.

Austin and Dotson played in Oregon’s third-round loss to Wisconsin in the 2014 NCAA tournament amid the rape allegations. The three players were suspended by Oregon men’s basketball on May 1, 2014.

Dotson played in the NBA for the New York Knicks in 2019, competing in 73 games.

Editors note: This story has been updated with a comment from the University of Oregon. 

Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow