Michael Dixon hasn't committed yet
Former Missouri Tigers guard Michael Dixon made an official visit to the University of Memphis on Tuesday but said he had no plans to give the Tigers a verbal pledge before flying home to Kansas City on Wednesday morning.
"I have not committed to the University of Memphis," Dixon wrote in a text message to ESPN.com on Tuesday evening.
CBSSports.com reported earlier that Dixon committed to the Tigers early Tuesday morning, less than two hours after his flight landed in Memphis.
Instead, Dixon indicated he'll discuss the visit with his family and mentor/AAU coach L.J. Goolsby upon his return to Kansas City.
"There's no way he would've committed that quickly," Dixon's father, Michael Dixon Sr., told ESPN.com on Tuesday night. "He'll be back tomorrow, and we'll sit down and go over the pros and cons.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to decide on something in the next 48 hours. And if we don't, we'll be back to square one."
Dixon made an official visit to East Carolina last month and has drawn interest from schools such as Baylor and Colorado, although he has yet to visit either university.
Dixon is hoping to receive a waiver from the NCAA that would allow him to play immediately at his new school. Dixon was kicked off Missouri's squad in November after a female student accused him of sexual assault, the second such claim made against Dixon since January 2010.
Boone County prosecutors, though, determined a police investigation lacked sufficient evidence to even interview Dixon in the second case, and the first alleged victim declined to press charges against him.
"No charges were brought against Michael Dixon," Kim English, Dixon's former teammate at Missouri, told ESPN.com last month. "He's never even had a conversation with any police department. He was just told he couldn't play his senior year for a program he helped rebuild.
"Your name is all you have. His name wasn't presented in a good light, and the court of public opinion is awfully condemning. I know he's looking for a chance to right the ship."
Dixon's family is hopeful the NCAA will grant him a waiver similar to the one obtained last fall by Dez Wells, who was expelled from Xavier amid sexual assault allegations but never charged. He was allowed to play right away at Maryland and led the Terrapins in scoring last season.
Dixon's situation differs from Wells' in two ways.
Dixon was accused of sexual assault on two occasions instead of one. Also, Wells was expelled from Xavier for allegations of sexual assault, as decided by the Xavier Conduct Board.
But when an Ohio grand jury reviewed the criminal charges against Wells, it threw them out. Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters laid into Xavier, calling the school's procedure "severely flawed."
Even though Dixon was never charged -- or even questioned -- he hasn't received that type of verbal backing from anyone in Missouri. In fact, a source close to Dixon said the university wouldn't even allow him to take online coursework during the spring semester.
And numerous head coaches told ESPN.com that Missouri athletic director Mike Alden is usually critical of Dixon when prospective schools call seeking permission to talk to the 6-foot-1 guard.
"[Alden] shredded him to my AD -- just absolutely shredded him," one Division I head coach told ESPN.com last month.
Still, it appears Memphis, Baylor, East Carolina and other schools are comfortable enough with Dixon -- arguably one of the country's top 10 point guards heading into next season -- to give him another chance.
As a junior in 2011-12, Dixon averaged 13.5 points and 3.3 assists per game off the bench for a Missouri squad that finished 30-5. Multiple media outlets tabbed Dixon as the national sixth man of the year, and he likely would have contended for first-team All-SEC honors had he been allowed to play in 2012-13.
Dixon's best attribute, however, might be his toughness and fire. He tends to be at his best in clutch situations and is known to play as hard in practice as he does in games.
"A coach will never be able to say that Mike is dogging it or that he isn't working hard or going full speed," English said. "Everything he does is at game speed. He's a grinder. He's fearless. He's the best teammate I ever had.
"Mike wants to win a national championship. I don't see him going to a Tennessee Tech or anything. I see him going to a place where he can compete for a national title."
Memphis (No. 15) and Baylor (No. 19) are both ranked in ESPN.com's top 25 heading into next season. Adding Dixon likely would cause either squad to jump several spots.
At Memphis, Dixon would join a loaded backcourt that includes veterans Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford and Geron Johnson. With a relatively inexperienced frontcourt, Tigers coach Josh Pastner could employ a four-guard lineup to make the best use of his team's skill and athleticism on the perimeter.
At Baylor, Dixon would be a shoo-in to replace departed Big 12 scoring leader Pierre Jackson. The rest of the Bears' lineup is stacked with Isaiah Austin, Cory Jefferson and Ricardo Gathers returning in the paint and Brady Heslip and Gary Franklin back on the wing.
Dixon has declined multiple interview requests over the past two months. His father also has declined to discuss his off-court situation but said Tuesday that the past six months have been taxing on his family.
"We'll all heal a little bit as family if he can get back on the court," Dixon Sr. said. "We're ready for a fresh start."