EUGENE, Ore. — The University of Oregon held a press conference Friday morning at the Ford Alumni Center, it’s the first time administrators spoke publicly about the alleged rape case, since the news broke earlier in the week.
The press conference was brief, about 30 minutes. While the UO president provided some insight, questions still remain about how the university handled the whole situation.
The alleged rape of a UO student by three basketball players has caught the attention of just about every media outlet in town and across the nation.
Friday, close to two months after the alleged incident, the university took to the stage.
“The type of behavior in the police report released this week is utterly unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” said Michael Gottfredson, UO President. “As a father, I was appalled at what I read. As a president of this university, I am angry and disappointed over this profoundly disturbing incident.”
While that may be the case, many questioned why things took so long to come to light.
“The Eugene Police Department requested we not do anything that might hinder their criminal investigation, including suspending players or not playing them in the game,” Gottfredson said.
But then, why, if the university was notified that the investigation was complete April 8, did the news not become public until nearly another month later?
“There were a lot of rumors swirling, of course, but we did not have the confirmation of any identity,” said Rob Mullens, UO Athletic Director.
The university says it didn’t get the report from the district attorney’s office until April 24. While it couldn’t provide any specifics as to exactly why there was this delay, it says many factors have to be taken into consideration.
“We did not assess there was a current health and safety issue, then we talk to always the victim, the alleged victim, and what he or she would want in terms of that notification which is really important component of this investigation,” said Robin Holmes, Vice President of Student Affairs.
Gottfredson says next week they will be announce details about an additional independent review ordered jointly by the athletic director and vice president of student affairs to look at their practices for preventing and responding to sexual violence on campus.