COLUMBIA — When Michael Dixon Jr. decided to transfer Thursday night, it brought a resolution to the biggest question looming over his month-long suspension from the Missouri basketball team for violating unspecified team rules.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
But now that Dixon, a senior guard, will never suit up again for the Tigers, plenty of other questions remain after recent revelations that he was accused of rape, but ultimately never questioned or charged, in January 2010 and in August.
MU athletic director Mike Alden, mens basketball coach Frank Haith, executive associate athletic director Sarah Reesman and associate athletic director for development Sarah Baumgartner spoke to a small group of reporters Friday afternoon.
According to a police report obtained Thursday by The Star, a woman who worked in the MU athletic department said she was sexually assaulted by Dixon on Jan. 9, 2010. She eventually declined to file charges. On Tuesday, The Star learned Dixon was accused by another woman of rape on Aug. 20 but was not charged after a Columbia police investigation due to insufficient evidence.
When Haith suspended Dixon on Oct. 26, just days before MUs first exhibition game, he made it clear that the decision was not legal or NCAA related. But even though the second allegation was made in August roughly two months before MU suspended Dixon Haith said Friday that he had been correct when he made his original statement.
Early on, when we suspended Mike it was academics, Haith said. Obviously as time went on, it became an issue where Mike had to stay suspended.
It wasnt a legal matter at the time. I wouldnt say anything to mislead you guys. Something like this that was not the intent.
Alden stated that what he and the others could say was limited by The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law that requires student consent before schools disclose education records. He cited the law when asked if he had seen the police report from the alleged 2010 incident.
Because of privacy issues , Alden said, thats not something Ill be able to respond to.
Though he was never charged with a crime, Dixon was believed to have faced disciplinary action from the University of Missouri. When asked if it was a coincidence that Dixon made his decision to transfer just hours after a second documented allegation of rape surfaced on Thursday, Alden said it was Dixons decision to leave.
Alden added that he could not comment on whether a ruling had been made before Dixon announced his decision to transfer. But when asked if Dixon would have been allowed to remain a student and on the basketball team as of Friday, Alden was forceful.
Mike Dixon is no longer a member of our basketball program at Mizzou, he said.
Alden said Haith consulted him about Dixons suspension and also said he was consulted about a still-suspended Dixon traveling with the team to the Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament last week.
I supported his decision to do that, Alden said.
Haith did not go into much detail about why he allowed Dixon to travel.
When you suspend a kid, I think its an individual philosophy, Haith said. In Mikes case, I felt it was best that he was with us.
Dixon is looking to play at another school, but Haith didnt say if there would be transfer restrictions placed on him schools often dont let players transfer within the same conference, for instance.
Obviously, Mike is a young guy that played for us, Haith said. If he seeks my help, I will help him.