Recently, three members of the University of Oregon basketball team were suspended from team activities as a result of rape allegations made against them by a female classmate.
Although the police declined to press charges due to “conflicting witness statements” and overall lack of evidence, on Monday, the University of Oregon made the commendable decision to permanently remove them from the team.
University of Oregon Athletic Director Robert Mullen stated, “It was very clear to us that those were individuals we didn’t want representing our organization.”
All three players were named in an extensive and graphic police report regarding an alleged rape that took place March 8.Local papers released the report which includes a detailed 24 page account of the night, including statements from the victim, the accused players, and witnesses.
See link for full details
We commend the University for its actions, and believe there were clearly opportunities that night for bystanders to intervene.
The first assault took place at a party. The victim was drinking with her friend when she was approached by four members of the basketball team and engaged in conversation with them. Two of the young men begin to pull her away from the party to an isolated hallway.
Other members of the team, as well as friends of the victim saw her being pulled away from the crowd and did not stop to intervene. She was led into the bathroom where the first assault took place.
#1 If you see someone being placed in an uncomfortable situation, step in. It takes nothing to ask someone if everything is ok! If the victim had someone willing to help her, or to tell the guys – hey not a good idea – the evening’s chain of events may have been prevented.
The players left the bathroom when someone began knocking on it. The victim said she was dizzy and had to sit down in the hallway because she couldn’t make it back to the living room. One of the perpetrators left to bring her a glass of water. The person entering the bathroom saw the victim leave the stall, too drunk to balance properly, with the company of two men.
#2 That scene should raise a red flag in one’s mind. Had someone checked on the victim, he or she could’ve helped her leave and seek proper attention and potentially prevented the 2nd assault that occurred later that night.
Instead, a short time later, the victim was brought back into the bathroom with now three players, and was forced to perform oral sex on all three of the men.
The party came to a close, and the victim‘s roommate texted her that there was a cab waiting for them outside. She walked outside to meet her roommate, and the three players followed her. They insisted that the victim come back with them to their place when one of them put her in a headlock. Her roommate left her friend.
#3 When you go out with friends, HAVE A PLAN – establish travel arrangements and agree to leave together under all circumstances.
The victim was led into a cab with the three players, and the assault continued at an apartment and only stopped when the victim began to cry.
When interviewed, the players told investigators that they believed these encounters were consensual. They didn’t realize anything was wrong until she began to cry.
The events of that evening are reprehensible, and could have been prevented.
Defining and discussing consent is imperative. Respecting others is vital. Stepping up when you see or hear something wrong is necessary.
PAAR’s Coaching Boys into Men program works with teams to promote healthy relationships and raise awareness on the issue of sexual violence. Athletes are natural leaders, and given the proper information on consent and other issues surrounding sexual abuse, they can step up to the plate and become part of the solution to preventing sexual violence.
That evening resulted in substantial trauma inflicted upon a young woman, and a permanent red mark has been placed upon the University of Oregon Basketball Team.
And it all could’ve been prevented.
The link to the full police report is listed below, along with information for CBIM.