Duke athletic director Kevin White released a statement Tuesday afternoon defending how employees associated with the men’s basketball program handled an allegation of sexual assault against former player Rasheed Sulaimon.
The Chronicle, the Duke student newspaper, published a story Monday reporting two separate allegations of sexual assault were made publicly against Sulaimon during the 2013-14 school year during two off-campus retreats. The Chronicle also published anonymous comments from a “former affiliate” of the Duke basketball program alleging that “nothing happened” after coach Mike Krzyzewski and other men’s basketball employees learned of the assault allegations.
White’s statement Tuesday disputed that claim.
“I want to clarify the role of Duke Athletics staff and coaches in the student conduct process at Duke,” White wrote. “Any allegation of student misconduct that is brought to the attention of our staff and coaches is immediately referred to the Office of Student Conduct in Student Affairs, which has responsibility for upholding the Duke code of conduct. The athletics department does not investigate or adjudicate matters of student conduct, and cooperates completely in the process. These investigations are conducted thoroughly, in a timely manner, and with great care to respect the privacy and confidentiality of all students involved.
“Those procedures have been, and continue to be, followed by Coach Mike Krzyzewski and all members of the men’s basketball program. Coach Krzyzewski and his staff understand and have fulfilled their responsibilities to the university, its students and the community. As specified by federal law and university policy, all Duke officials, including Coach Krzyzewski, are prohibited from commenting publicly on any specific individual or situation.”
Sulaimon was dismissed from the basketball program in January for what Krzyzewski called, in a news release, a failure to “consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program.”
According to The Chronicle, no official complaints were filed with the Office of Student Conduct or any law enforcement agency. Neither student involved in the sexual assault allegations commented directly to The Chronicle for the story.
When asked about the allegations on a teleconference Monday, Krzyzewski repeatedly said, “I don’t have any comment on that.”
Attempts to reach Sulaimon for comment have been unsuccessful. University spokesman Michael Schoenfeld confirmed Sulaimon is enrolled at Duke and in good academic standing.