May 17, 2014, 5:24 PM EST
When it was announced in early January that now-former Oregon guard Brandon Austin had officially transferred in from Providence, head coach Dana Altman stated that discussions with the Providence coaching staff alleviated any concerns with regards to why the freshman was suspended.
“That’s always something that we consider very strongly,” Altman said at the time. “But in talking with their coaching staff, we felt like this was something that was not of a serious nature and we’d be able to move on from there.”
Of course a lot has changed in the months since Austin’s arrival in Eugene, with a sexual assault investigation leading to the dismissals of Austin, Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis (no criminal charges were filed due to a lack of evidence) earlier this month. During the press conference announcing the dismissal of those players, athletic director Rob Mullens said that neither he nor Altman were aware of the sexual assault investigation that led to the suspensions of Austin and then-teammate Rodney Bullock at Providence.
Whether or not one believes that to be the case is up for debate. And apparently, so was Austin’s status at Providence according to a report by Lynn Arditi of the Providence Journal. According to Arditi’s report the school disciplinary board that looked into the allegations initially ruled that Austin should be banned from campus until the spring of 2015, only to have their decision overturned.
The board found that “a preponderance of evidence” supported a finding of “sexual misconduct I,” which includes non-consensual sexual penetration, violation No. 14 in the college’s student handbook. It voted to suspend Austin through the fall semester of 2014, the letter states.
During that period, Austin was “not permitted to be present on any Providence College owned or leased property without the express, written permission’’ of one of several college administrators.
According to the story vice president of student affairs Kristine Goodwin reviewed Austin’s appeal of the board’s decision, ruling in late December that she could not support the original decision and instead ruled that Austin would not be allowed to play in games or sit on the bench for the remainder of the season.
The question to be asked is what Goodwin saw in the original report that led to her reversal of the board’s decision to ban Austin from campus until the spring semester in 2015. But given student privacy laws, will the answer ever be learned?
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