What Do The Rasheed Sulaimon Allegations Mean For Duke?

Rasheed Sulaimon was recently dismissed from Duke University’s men’s basketball team, but not for reasons initially reported. According to ESPN, Sulaimon is suspected of sexually assaulting two women last academic year.

Even worse, the report also states that head coach Mike Krzyzewski knew of the allegations as early as a year ago, and that the accusers did not pursue charges out of fear of the school’s giant fan base. Both assaults allegedly occurred during a diversity retreat called Common Ground, one in October 2013 and the other in March 2014.

The worst part is that after initial reports stated that Sulaimon was released from the team for not “living up to the standards” required of him by his coach, what really happened is put in an even more negative light. Sure, his production had decreased every year since he was a freshman, but we’re talking about the first player under Coach K’s watch to EVER be dismissed from the team.

Think about it. Looking back at Duke’s storied history under Krzyzewski, and you’ll only find players who, more often than not, had great reputations both at school and on the professional level: Grant Hill, Elton Brand, Shane Battier, Kyrie Irving, and countless others. On the whole, the man has had a great run in 35 years with the Blue Devils.

But now, what is another successful Duke season is suddenly cast in shadows. Forget Krzyzewski¬†getting his 1,000th career win. Forget about the team potentially winning a fifth national championship under their fearless leader’s watch. Depending on what happens next, the world of college athletics could have yet another Sanduskyesque scandal, with Krzyzewski becoming the unfortunate fall guy.

Meanwhile, Sulaimon remains at the university and in good academic standing, his personal and professional future unclear.

This story still has a lot of developing left to do, but one can only hope that it remains about the suspect and not a program that has brought joy to far too many people to count.

*Section Photo credit to Grant Halverson, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Matt Cashore, USA Today Sports. 

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