Former Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon has finally spoken after being dismissed from the program back in January. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski said that Sulaimon was “unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of [Duke’s] program,” and it was later reported that he was under investigation for two separate sexual assaults. Today, he addressed the allegations to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
“Me being dismissed from the team had nothing to do with this allegation,” Sulaimon said.
“”I have never sexually assaulted, not only anyone on the Duke campus, but anyone period. It’s not in my nature at all. I have great respect for the role of women in society. I would never demean or do anything to a woman in this manner. No, I’ve never done anything like this in my life.”
“This allegation is just that, a charge that has no proof,. There’s no proof because I didn’t sexually assault anyone.”
Regarding his “frustration,” Sulaimon also elaborated further.
“I was frustrated with myself and letting myself get to the point where I didn’t play in the entire game. Not just any game — a big game,” Sulaimon said. “I felt frustrated, I felt embarrassed. There was even a time when I didn’t talk to my parents. I have a very good relationship with them and normally talk to them every day.”
“I’m a very competitive guy and I believe I should have been starting,” he said. “Quite simply, I just got frustrated. In retrospect, in looking back on it, I didn’t handle it well at all. My immaturity and me being frustrated with hitting adversity, I think it greatly impacted my relationship with Coach K heavily.”
“I wanted to be at Duke,” he said. “I dreamed about it my whole life. Even though I was frustrated, I wanted to be at Duke. My parents didn’t raise a quitter.”
“My frustration only grew,” Sulaimon said. “I realize now I could have and should have handled things drastically different, but what’s done [is] done. I have no quarrel with Coach K and I’m looking for a fresh start to finish my college career after I graduate from Duke first.”
Prior to his dismissal, Sulaimon was averaging 7.5 points per game on 41.3 percent shooting while making 40.4 percent of his threes.
In his Duke career, he averaged 9.6 points per contest and shot 41.3 percent from the floor plus 39.5 percent from downtown. Since leaving the Blue Devils, he has been linked to the team’s former ACC rival Maryland Terrapins.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Mark Dolejs/USA Today Sports