EUGENE, Ore. – A player on the University of Oregon men’s basketball team that reached the Final Four earlier this year played while under investigation for sexual assault, according to a report.
The Daily Emerald, the university's student newspaper, reports the investigation into forward Kavell Bigby-Williams began on Sept. 19, 2016. The alleged assault occurred at an apartment near Gillette College in Wyoming, where Bigby-Williams played before transferring to Oregon. A tweet from Bigby-Williams shows he was in Wyoming the day before the investigation began.
Was nice going back to Gillette seeing people, good luck to y'all this season go get another region 9 🏆— Kavell Bigby-W (@Kavell6ft11) September 19, 2016
University of Oregon police have known about the case involving Bigby-Williams since Sept. 28, according to the report. On two separate occasions a university police detective attempted to interview Bigby-Williams by phone but he avoided speaking with her both times before his attorney requested the detective not contact Bigby-Williams anymore.
An athletic department spokesman told the Daily Emerald that Ducks coach Dana Altman, athletic director Rob Mullens and other athletic department staffers were aware university police requested Bigby-Williams’ contact information but said nobody asked why police wanted to speak with him.
University of Oregon president Michael Schill told the Daily Emerald he did not know about the investigation and couldn’t share information about individual students.
“I don’t have any awareness of that,” Schill said. “In any event, I can’t comment on an individual student. What if I was asked by another reporter about you being obnoxious? Would you want me to tell them that?”
Altman and the athletic department received criticism in 2014 for allowing three players accused of sexual assault to play during the NCAA Tournament that season. The charges against the three players were dismissed, with the Lane County District Attorney's Office citing lack of evidence.
The victim in the 2014 alleged sexual assault sued the university for not disciplining the players. She settled with the college for $800,000. The three players, who were dismissed from the team after the case became public, have also sued the university, alleging the investigation was unfair. That lawsuit is ongoing.
Bigby-Williams announced his intent to transfer from Oregon in April and revealed on Tuesday he would attend LSU.