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Imhotep star among 3 dismissed from Oregon in wake of rape probe

Though no charges were filed, Oregon ousts Brandon Austin, 2 others. Austin faced similar accusations while at Providence.

FORMER Imhotep Charter star Brandon Auston was among three Oregon basketball players dismissed from the team in the wake of a sexual assault allegation.

The school announced at a news conference yesterday that 18-year-old Austin, 19-year-old Damyean Dotson and 19-year-old Dominic Artis were suspended because their conduct was not befitting student-athletes, based on allegations made by a student who said she was assaulted by the players at a postgame party and at an apartment in early March.

The Lane County district attorney's office investigated the allegations and determined there was not enough evidence to prosecute the players on criminal charges.

"They will not be playing basketball at Oregon again," said university president Michael Gottfredson, who appeared at the news conference along with vice president for student affairs Robin Holmes and athletic director Rob Mullens.

It is the second sexual assault allegation Austin has faced. While at Providence, he and another Friars player were accused last year of sexually assaulting a female student on campus. The two were suspended, and Austin subsequently transferred to Oregon. He had to sit out a calendar year under NCAA transfer rules.

Amy Kempe, a spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Attorney General's office, said this week that that case remains under investigation.

Austin led Imhotep Charter to three Public League titles and three PIAA championships.

He has not played in a college game.

While Oregon was informed of the allegations, school and team officials were asked not to take action so as not to interfere with the police investigation. Two of the athletes subsequently played in NCAA Tournament games for the Ducks.

Mullens said he did not know which players were under investigation when the team played in the postseason tournament.

After the allegations surfaced earlier this week, the school said the players were not participating in team activities, but would not elaborate. The school had cited federal privacy laws in not commenting further on the status of the players.

The woman's father initially reported the alleged assault on March 9, the day after the party where she met the players. The party was the same night the Ducks beat No. 3 Arizona in the final game of the regular season, and before they went on to the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments.

Eugene, Oregon, police released a 24-page report on Monday detailing the accusations, in which the athletes said sexual relations with the student were consensual. District Attorney Alex Gardner put out a three-page explanation for his decision not to bring charges in the case.

While Oregon released a statement earlier this week saying that school officials were conducting an internal investigation, the handling of the alleged assault sparked protests on campus, including one Thursday that drew more than 100 people.

Oregon officials said yesterday the school received the police report on April 24 and suspended the players shortly thereafter.

Gottfredson said the university plans to take additional action next week to address the university's response to sexual assaults.

Oregon went 24-10 last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. Seven seniors and two transfers have already left the team since its third-round tournament loss to Wisconsin on March 22.