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Ducks Flee the Flock

Dotson scolded by Coach Altman

As a rape scandal rocks the University of Oregon, potential recruits flee. Oregon announced Friday that three basketballs players have been kicked off the team as well as removed from the university. Following rape allegations made by a female student in late March against three Oregon athletes. Freshman Brandon Austin and sophomores Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson have been named as suspects. According to Oregon Athletic director Rob Mullens the players were suspended within 24 hours of receiving the police report on April 30th.  Not only have these allegations caused an upheaval and numerous protests on campus but also the loss of two potential recruits, Ahmaad Rorie and Tashawn Thomas.

This is not the first run in for Austin, before transferring from Providence he was linked to another rape investigation. In November 2013 from his time spent with the Friar’s he was accused of sexual assault with teammate Rodney Bullock. Apparently Head coach Dana Altman knew nothing of the investigation prior to his official transfer and was only told that it was an “issue with student conduct.” Once learning the full details of the investigation, Altman chose to take a chance on Austin. A chance I’m sure he regrets.

Altogether 10 players have left the Ducks since the end of the season. With Brandon Austin, Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson who have been suspended. Waverly Austin, Mike Moser, Nicholas Lucenti, Star Johnathan Loyd and Jason Calliste have all used up their eligibility. The three suspended and five gone due to ineligibility, freshman A.J. Lapray and sophomore Ben Carter have been awarded transfer waivers. This means that Altman will have to rely heavily on the six freshmen still committed and will need another six to fill the holes left for next season.

The two lost recruits Ahmaad Rorie and Tashawn Thomas could be followed by others but these two will be sorely missed. As the Ducks upcoming season will be without most of their returning NCAA tournament players, left with mostly underclassmen. The nation’s 116th ranked 2014 high school recruit, Ahmaad Rorie has cancelled his visit after the allegations surfaced. Ahmaad wasn’t the only one to jump ship. Houston transfer Tashawn Thomas has cancelled his visit as well. Both have considered whether or not to continue their consideration of joining the Ducks.

Though Thomas and Rorie have seemingly lost all interest in playing in Eugene for the Ducks, Kendall Small the nation’s 5th ranked 2015 high school point guard has not de-committed and seems to be loyal to the Ducks, unless Altman is let go. With spots left vacant and scandal looming over Altman, recruitment will be tough treading while recruits fly as far away from the Ducks as they can.