Duke basketball ignored Rasheed Sulaimon sexual assault allegations

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Five-star guard signee Rasheed Sulaimon was the first player to be kicked off the Duke basketball team during the Mike Krzyzewski era. In the 35 years of Coach K, Sulaimon, dismissed on January 29th, is the first and only player to get kicked out.

Today, we found out why. And it’s a more serious issue than the cliche corporatspeak phrase “violation of team rules” that every single college sports information department uses

According to a report published Monday by the Chronicle, Duke’s student newspaper, Sulaimon was dismissed more than a year after he was accused of sexually assaulting two female students. Duke basketball coaches were aware of the charges a year ago, and their failure to act is a violation of Federal law. This goes all the way up to Coach K. himself.

The Chronicle reports that:

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.

“Nothing happened after months and months of talking about [the sexual assault allegations],” the anonymous affiliate said. “The University administration knew. Kevin White knew, Mike Cragg knew.” 

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So for all the glorification and glamorization of Coach K that we’ve had to be subjected to over the years…this will end that. Nobody’s going to believe in the Duke hoops/coach K brand after this.

The allegations against Sulaimon were made on two separate occasions at a student retreat called Common Ground. A Houston native, Rasheed Sulaimon was rated the nation’s No. 2 shooting guard in his recruiting class.

The winner of the three point shooting contest at the 2012 McDonald’s All-American game, he chose Duke over offers from Arizona, Baylor, Indiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and others. Still, Rasheed Sulaimon had fallen out of favor at Duke and was no longer getting playing time in a very crowded situation on the perimeter. Sulaimon had started a few games early in his career, but was only getting minutes off the bench this season.

Paul M. Banks owns, operates and writes The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with Fox Sports Digital, eBay, Google News and CBS Interactive. You can read Banks’ feature stories in the Chicago Tribune RedEye newspaper and listen to him on KOZN 1620 The Zone.

Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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