Michael Dixon, a 6-foot-1 guard who averaged 13.5 points per game while playing 26.7 minutes has yet to appear in a game this season.
His coach, Frank Haith, originally suspended one of his best players in mid-October. Then, in early November, the school’s Student Conduct Committee made a ruling saying he could not play, but why reason why was not specified.
After opening the season 4-1 with Dixon on the bench, the suspension — which had been listed under the ever-mysterious “violation of unspecified team rules” — as well as the reasoning behind the Committee’s ruling hit the public.
An accusation of rape on the part of Dixon was closed due to insufficient evidence.
However, while the case may have been thrown out, new evidence has been brought to light only 48 hours after the court’s ruling has seemingly left Dixon in the clear.
The St. Louis Post-Dispath has obtained a University of Missouri police report detailing a 2010 incident also involving Dixon, also involving a girl alleging assault, and also ending without charges.
The 2010 case has not been closed, but there are a lot of moving parts involved. In fact, the earlier case could be a pivotal factor in Dixon’s future at Mizzou. The indefinite suspension levied by Haith apparently now hinges on an appeal of the Student Conduct Committee ruling to be rendered by Chancellor Brady Deaton.
Deaton has made it clear without, of course, mentioning Dixon specifically that the Committee does not run itself by the same rule of law as does the United States court system. As opposed to irrefutable evidence, Deaton must only be presented with a “preponderance of evidence”. Further, the past actions are not simply ignored.
“When a case is brought before the Student Conduct Committee, any previous accusations against the same student can be taken into account and may affect the final decision.”
Further, what Deaton is looking for is not even whether or not Dixon committed rape or even sexual assault. The standard is whether the action of the accused was “harmful to the other student in any way”.
Perhaps unlike the 2012 case, there seems to be at very least a “preponderance of evidence” in what took place two years ago — let alone something “harmful to the other student”.
The victim, unnamed, told police she did not want to take her accusations to a courtroom, because she was afraid of her family finding out what happened and also worried about the wrath she feared from Dixon himself. However, she did have the presence of mind to go to a hospital. There, a nurse who examined the woman said afterward that from the injuries sustained she “believes force was involved,” according to the report.
In fact, what happened in 2010 grew so serious that the girl, now recently graduated, was invited to meet with then-coach Mike Anderson.
The girl relayed the entire story to Anderson; she included the part where Dixon told her that, “If you’re pregnant, you can’t be.”, and how she feared, “If he’s going to threaten to do this to me if I get pregnant, what would he threaten to do if I pressed charges or pursued it?”
What she told Anderson actually brought him to tears.
Unfortunately, Anderson had a cold, sobering reality for the victim: He could not move ahead with any sort of discipline against his player unless the women first moved forward with criminal charges.
It was devastating, but as previously mentioned, going public against Dixon was out of the question, and thus the issue was shelved legally (obviously not emotionally) until this week.
Dixon has been going to classes all semester, but he may not be for very much longer, and it will all have been his own fault.
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