Friday, Nov. 30 2012 9:00AM
Dixon to leave MU basketball team after second rape allegation uncovered
By Terez A. Paylor
The Kansas City Star
Nov. 30 — COLUMBIA — On the same day a second documented allegation of rape surfaced regarding Missouri guard Michael Dixon Jr., a Lee’s Summit West graduate, announced that he was leaving the Tigers’ basketball team.
Dixon, who has been suspended by the team since October for what coach Frank Haith called “a violation of team rules,” said in a statement released by the Tigers athletic department Thursday night that he will look to play at another school.
“It’s been a challenging few months and while I appreciate the support of many in the Mizzou community including my coaches and teammates,” Dixon said, “it’s in the best interest of me, my family and the University of Missouri to finish my career elsewhere.”
According to a police report obtained Thursday by The Star, a woman who worked in the MU athletic department said she was sexually assaulted by Dixon on Jan. 9, 2010. The report, filed by the University of Missouri Police on Jan. 11, says the alleged assault took place at her apartment.
A source told The Star on Wednesday that the victim alerted former MU basketball coach Mike Anderson about the incident, who told her he would support her if she decided to press charges. She ultimately decided not to, the source said, because Dixon was a basketball player, and “she was afraid of what might happen.” According to the police report, she told detective Sam Easley on Jan. 21 that she did not want to prosecute in this case, and she did not want Dixon to be contacted regarding the case.
An attorney for Dixon declined to comment on the police report, saying he had not seen it. Dixon’s father also told The Star in a text message that he could not comment about the allegation.
MU athletic department officials did not respond to a request asking for comment.
On Tuesday, The Star learned Dixon was accused by another woman of rape on Aug. 20 but not charged after a Columbia police investigation.
That case was closed Nov. 16 after Tracy Gonzalez of the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office ruled there was insufficient evidence to file charges.
While Dixon isn’t facing criminal charges in either case, it’s believed he faced disciplinary action from the University of Missouri.
A student who is expelled, dismissed or suspended from the university by the Student Conduct Committee — which is made up of faculty members, not students, and decides cases in accordance with MU’s standards of conduct in student disciplinary matters — can appeal to the chancellor, who has the authority to overturn the decision. While the appeal is being considered, the chancellor may then allow the student to continue in school.
Dixon had been allowed to practice and travel with the team during his suspension, and MU chancellor Brady Deaton was expected to return from an overseas trip this week.
Mary Jo Banken, the executive director of the MU News Bureau, declined comment when asked whether the most recent allegation was related to Dixon’s suspension, citing The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Dixon arrived at Missouri in 2009 as a three-star rated guard out of Lee’s Summit West High School, with scholarship offers from Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas State, Louisville and others. After averaging 7.5 points in 34 games as a freshman, he was suspended for two games as a sophomore but averaged 10.3 points and 3.5 assists while starting 17 games.
He built on that with an even better junior campaign, when he averaged 13.5 points and 3.3 assists in 35 games for a team that went 30-5 and won the Big 12 tournament title. For his efforts, Dixon was chosen Big 12 sixth man of the year and was also picked to the league’s all-defensive team by the coaches.
Dixon was expected to play an even bigger role this season, as Haith said during the summer that he would finally put Dixon in the starting lineup. He was also named to the preseason all-Southeastern Conference second team and a preseason second-team All-American by The Sporting News.
But shortly after participating in Mizzou Madness in October — and right before MU’s first exhibition game — Haith announced that Dixon had been suspended indefinitely.