PC Responds to Basketball Sexual Assault Claims

Mar 19, 2014

Providence College officials are urging the public not to rush to judgment after The Wall Street Journal reported a police investigation of two basketball players, as the Friars head to Texas for the first round of NCAA tournament.

PC Spokesman Steve Maurano says the school conducted its own investigation of the sexual assault allegations when they first surfaced in November.

"I would recommend against drawing any conclusions that our (on-campus) process ended with a finding that our student-athlete was found responsible for sexual assault," Maurano said in an email. "In addition, I want to reiterate that Coach Cooley took the proper course of action in suspending the student-athletes from game action as soon as the complaint was made to College officials back in November."

The complaint came from a female student, who has now reported her allegations to Providence police, according The Wall Street Journal.  The paper reports that a police investigation began just a couple of weeks ago.

The basketball players, both freshmen, were suspended from game play indefinitely while Providence College conducted its internal investigation. One player, Rodney Bullock, remains with the team, but can only practice. He will travel with the Friars to San Antonio, Texas, where the team is scheduled to play it's first NCAA tournament game on Friday.

The other player, Brandon Austin, left PC for the University of Oregon, where he is also a member of the basketball team. He cannot play until next season under transfer rules.

Providence College Basketball Coach Ed Cooley says the coach at Oregon was aware of the disciplinary action against Austin before he transferred.

"I did receive a phone call from Coach Altman," Cooley said in a written statement. "I explained that I could not speak to the details of the suspension but that we were taking the matter very seriously.  I cannot speak for that basketball program at another University or why they made the decision they did."

Editor's Note: Player Rodney Bullock can only practice with the team, he cannot sit on the bench.