UO coach bonuses at stake during time of rape investigation
Employment contracts for University of Oregon basketball coaches, and the athletic director, show big bonuses were on the line for the NCAA Tournament around the time three players were under investigation for rape. That raises new questions about a possible cover-up by the university for not punishing the involved players until weeks after the post-season had ended.
Those contracts show tens of thousands of dollars was at play for Head Coach Dana Altman, Assistant Coach Kevin McKenna, Assistant Coach Tony Stubblefield, and Athletic Director Rob Mullens if the Ducks made it into March Madness.
In a news conference Friday, Altman announced Brandon Austin, Damyean Dotson, and Dominic Artis were off the team for good. As KATU News has reported, the trio is back in their home towns with their families. The university is under fire for how it handled the case.
Altman also admitted last week he found out about the investigation involving some of his players right before the Ducks first game in Milwaukee, WI for the NCAA Tournament. He claimed neither the University nor police told him who was being investigated or why.
"We were instructed not to take any action, to let any knowledge of anything interfere with their (police) investigation," said Altman.
That was late March and almost two weeks after the alleged rape happened at a house party in Eugene on March 8, 2014.
The stakes were high for the Ducks; this was their second bid to the "Big Dance" in the past two years. They had a five year dry spell before that.
Austin wasn't eligible to play. Artis and Dotson played in nearly every game over the season. Had they been suspended before the tournament it could have put the team's success in jeopardy.
Instead, the team made it to the third round of the tournament with Artis and Dotson each contributing points.
Here's where the money comes in, according to those University of Oregon employment contracts: Coach Altman earned a $75,000 bonus for the team's NCAA run; Assistant Coaches Kevin McKenna and Tony Stubblefield each earned a $20,000 bonus; and, Athletic Director Rob Mullens earned a $25,000 bonus.
Each of the coaches' contracts also contains an ethics clause. It states if they knew of any player breaking university or NCAA rules, they're supposed to report it to the athletic director.
Altman claims he found out which players the police were investigating, and why, on April 30, 2014, almost one month after the team lost in that third round of the tournament. That's when he kicked them off the team. No criminal charges have been filed.
University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson has called for an independent panel to review the school's policies for reporting student safety, especially involving sexual assaults.
The University Coalition to End Sexual Violence wants more answers from the university about how it handled the case. That group has vowed to rally at the president's office every day until it hears from the administration once again.