'Eugene Police Department requested we not do anything that might hinder their criminal investigation'

'Eugene Police Department requested we not do anything that might hinder their criminal investigation' »Play Video
University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson (center) with Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Rob Mullens (at right) and Vice President for Student Affairs Robin Holmes (at left) on Friday, May 9.

EUGENE, Ore. - The president of the University of Oregon says the behavior described in a police report naming 3 Duck basketball players at suspects is "utterly unacceptable" and he will take this time to make the campus safer. 

"Assault and harassment have no place on our campus or anywhere in our community. None. Ever," Michael Gottfredson said at a press conference Friday. | Video | Text

The room fell silent as Gottfredson took the stage along with Rob Mullens, director of intercollegiate athletics; and Robin Holmes, vice president for student affairs.

They addressed reports about three Oregon players named in a police investigation into a report of rape. The district attorney elected not to file any criminal charges.

On Thursday, a crowd of protestors march on Johnson Hall wanting to know why the players were allowed to play in the NCAA and Pac-12 tournaments.

Gottfredson said the University was complying with a request from police.

"The Eugene Police Department requested we not do anything that might hinder their criminal investigation, including suspending players or not playing them in a game," he said.

Gottfredson said he knew the identities of the players under investigation before the NCAA tournament, but athletic director Mullens said he didn't know which players were being investigated.

As for why it took nearly a month before students were made aware that something had happened, Gottfredson said this: "We would like to be as transparent as possible, but as indicated we also do believe in supporting the student privacy laws, so it is a difficult balance."
    
He said students safety and security is the University's top priority.

"We will do whatever it takes to create a safe, secure environment for all our students, and foster a culture of respect and shared values on our campus," Gottfredson said.

He said actions are being taken to commision an external review of sexual misconduct policies and protocols and to add staff to support students who have experienced sexual violence.