Former Oregon Ducks basketball player Brandon Austin is suing the university and its administrators and alleging that his rights were violated when he was dismissed from the program in May 2014.
According to a report from Tyson Alger of The Oregonian, the lawsuit is for $7.5 million and names the following people: former school president Michael R. Gottfredson, Oregon director of Student Conduct & Community Standards Sandy Weintraub, assistant dean of students Chicora Martin and vice president of student life Robin Holmes.
Austin and former teammates Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis were dismissed from the university in 2014 for their alleged role in a sexual assault. No charges were filed, but the details surrounding the case made the university pull the trigger on that decision. Dotson has since moved on to Houston while Artis landed at UTEP.
Austin, however, has not been able to find a Division I program willing to take him on. Keep in mind that he started his college days at Providence, only to be suspended for a year for his role in a sexual assault. No charges were filed, but Austin opted to transfer to Oregon.
Alger’s report offered more:
“The suit claims that prior to his expulsion, Austin was “outrageously suspended” from the university and that his rights were violated when the defendants “refused to (among other things) allow Mr. Austin to subpoena witnesses who would be supportive of his defense, refused to provide unredacted reports, refused to provide a contested case hearing, refused to allow cross-examination, and otherwise refused to provide the due process required by the United States Constitution and applicable laws.”
“The suit also claims that Holmes refused to respond to Austin’s requests for an appeal and wouldn’t return multiple phone calls from Austin’s counsel “in violation of Mr. Austin’s right to procedural and substantive due process.”
If what Austin alleges is true, then the university should settle with him. However, though the money he’s seeking also includes compensation for affected professional prospects on the basketball level, his basketball career on the Division I level is likely over.
Look at it this way. Though Austin won a junior college title last season, his off-court issues are a red flag regardless of the fact that no charges were filed. Just look at what happened at Baylor recently, when football player Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of rape after transferring to the program from Boise State. The aftermath of his conviction has seen many speculate as to just how much Baylor knew about his checkered past at Baylor and has cast the program in a negative light.
Thus, though Austin may be entitled to some compensation, odds are his basketball career on the collegiate level is over.
Oregon opens the season at home against the SWAC’s Jackson State Tigers on November 13.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports