Report: Rasheed Sulaimon Dismissed Due To Sexual Assault Allegations

Robert Pursell Contributor
Font Size:

Junior guard Rasheed Sulaimon was accused of sexual assault almost a year before he was dismissed from the Duke University men’s basketball team, according to the Duke Chronicle.

The story claims head coach Mike Krzyzewski and other university officials were aware of these allegations 10 months before Sulaimon was kicked off the team.

The news of Sulaimon’s dismissal came as a shock to college basketball fans across the country. This was the first time a player had been dismissed during Coach K’s 35-year tenure.

At the time of Sulaimon’s dismissal, Coach K issued a vague statement.

“Rasheed has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program,” Krzyzewski said at the time. “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.”

The Chronicle reports that the allegations were first made in October 2013 during a four-day student retreat discussing sexuality and other issues. During a group discussion, a female participant told the group that Sulaimon had sexually assaulted her.

A second female student also claimed she had been sexually assaulted by Sulaimon during a February 2014 retreat.

Neither of the two female students officially filed their complaints with the Office of Student Conduct because they feared backlash, according to the Chronicle.

Although no official complaint was filed, universities are required under Title IX to look into any indications of possible sexual assault. An anonymous affiliate of the program brought the allegations to the attention of the team psychologist in March 2014, the Chronicle reports. The physiologist subsequently informed Krzyzewski and his assistant coaches later that month.

The allegations were subsequently brought to the attention of university officials, including Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White and Sue Wasiolek, assistant vice president of student affairs and dean of students.

“Duke takes immediate action when a student reports allegations of sexual misconduct or other violations of the student conduct code,” said a statement from Duke’s public affairs and government relations office. “This includes investigation and referral to the Student Conduct Office as appropriate. The University is prohibited by federal law from disclosing information about any individual student or the student judicial process.”

Krzyzewski declined to comment on the situation today, and Sulaimon declined to speak with the Chronicle, though a lawyer claiming to represent him told the Duke newspaper he believed the claims to be false.