Just three days before it makes its debut as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, the University of Oregon has been hit with a lawsuit from two former players who were dismissed by the university following a sexual assault investigation.
Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson, along with Brandon Austin, were all named in a police report alleging that they assaulted a woman at an off-campus home on March 8, 2014. Though none were charged, all three were dismissed from the school in May 2014.
Attorney Alex Spiro, who is representing Artis and Dotson, told ESPN.com that "the manner that the proceedings were conducted at Oregon has been problematic and that these students were victimized by that process.''
The lawsuit is seeking $10 million in damages for each player, claiming that the investigation was biased against the two players, did not allow them to present witnesses, denied them due process and "engineered a 'kangaroo court' hearing with the purpose of finding that Artis and Dotson committed a sexual assault that did not in reality occur."
Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that the subsequent charges and dismissal from the Oregon program has diminished the chances for Artis and Dotson to play in the NBA. They are seeking at least $9 million in economic damages and an additional $1.5 million in noneconomic damages.
"Mr. Artis and Mr. Dotson's lawsuit is no surprise since their attorney has reached out multiple times seeking a financial settlement that we did not entertain," university spokesman Tobin Klinger said in an email to oregonlive.com. "As we said when Mr. Austin filed his claims in October, we intend to vigorously defend the university. We remain confident that all these individuals were afforded fair and consistent due process that fully complied with the university's legal obligations."
Artis recently completed his junior season at UTEP, where he led the Miners with 11.7 points per game and 5.1 assists. He also was named to the Conference USA All-Academic team.
Dotson averaged 13.9 points and 6.8 rebounds for Houston this season. The Cougars will play Georgia Tech in the first round of the NIT on Wednesday.
In a formal statement, Spiro, who helped Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha earn an acquittal against charges following a fracas with New York police outside a nightclub, said: "The University and its administration failed Mr. Artis and Mr. Dotson -- two remarkable student athletes -- and must be held responsible."
Oregon, which earned its first No. 1 seed in school history, will face the winner of Holy Cross and Southern on Friday in Spokane, Washington.