Report: Dismissed Duke Guard Rasheed Sulaimon Investigated For Sexual Assault

Managing Editor, Sports + DIME
03.02.15 2 Comments
Rasheed Sulaimon

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The first player ever dismissed by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is under investigation by the university for multiple allegations of sexual assault, according to Duke’s student newspaper The Chronicle.

The allegations against junior Rasheed Sulaimon outlined in The Chronicle are from two separate women. The first allegation came as early as October of 2013, with the second being made in Feb. 2014 at the university’s Common Ground retreat, a gathering funded by the school’s Center for Race Relations in which students discuss a variety of personal issues including race, gender and sexuality.

Both allegations were voiced publicly but no formal complaints were filed, according to the report.

Via The Chronicle:

A former affiliate of the Duke basketball program, who was with the team throughout the majority of Sulaimon’s basketball career, became aware of the allegations made at the Fall 2013 Common Ground. The anonymous affiliate began speaking to the female student in January 2014, and began speaking to the second female student in March 2014 after learning of her allegations.

The allegations were brought to the attention of a team psychologist in March 2014, the anonymous affiliate said. That month, the allegations were brought to Krzyzewski and assistant coaches Jon Scheyer and Nate James and associate head coach Jeff Capel.

The allegations reportedly continued to move up the university ladder, eventually making their way to the assistant vice president of student affairs and dean of students.

The Chronicle spoke with a senior student who was a secretary in the Duke basketball office who had heard of the allegations on Jan. 21. He told an administrative assistant in the office and The Chronicle details how the student quit the next day and had a sit-down meeting with deputy director of athletics Mike Cragg at the university.

“I wanted personally for the conversation to steer toward Coach K and [athletic director] Kevin White and I think he could sense that too,” Lincoln Wensley, the former secretary, said. “After advising me on my interactions with Laura Ann [Howard, the basketball office administrative assistant], he said that if I wanted to pursue further action on this issue that I would need to go through Student Conduct. And that Coach K had known and knew that Rasheed had these rumors swirling about him and that Kevin White had also known.”

Sulaimon was dismissed on Jan. 29, marking the first time Coach K had ever made such a move in his time in Durham. In the university’s official press release at the time, Krzyewski mentioned Sulaimon’s inability to “live up to the standards” of the school and the basketball program.

“Rasheed has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program,” Krzyzewski said. “It is a privilege to represent Duke University and with that privilege comes the responsibility to conduct oneself in a certain manner. After Rasheed repeatedly struggled to meet the necessary obligations, it became apparent that it was time to dismiss him from the program.”

It was mentioned in the same press release that Sulaimon was in “good academic standing” at Duke.

The team, on the other hand, seemed to have moved on from the dismissal almost immediately.

“They did it in a hurry,” Fox Sports Carolinas writer Lauren Brownlow told UPROXX Sports. “I was almost impressed. Heck, Duke even took him out of the official stats in the game notes in either the first or second game after he left. And the players have all said all the right things. Nothing has really leaked out, and other than Josh Hairston (who graduated last year) reaching out to Sulaimon via Twitter and making it clear they’re spending time together, there aren’t many Duke players, current or former, that I saw speaking out on his behalf after it happened.”

Duke is 26-3 on the year and plays Wake Forest on Wednesday.

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