This June, the Daily Emerald reported that Oregon guard Kavell Bigby-Williams played the entire 2016-17 season while under a criminal investigation for rape, a crime he was accused of in 2016 in Wyoming. At the time of the report, Oregon claimed that Bigby-Williams, who has since transferred to LSU, was never disciplined by the team because there was “insufficient information to warrant interim action” and that coach Dana Altman knew Bigby-Williams was being investigated but did not know what the case was about.
However, according to a new report from Sports Illustrated, Altman may have known more than he let on, as his public phone records show he called up several people who were likely knowledgeable about the case, and Oregon’s potential responses, immediately after learning about the investigation.
In the first 48 hours after school officials learned of the police investigation into Bigby-Williams, Altman had five phone calls with Lisa Peterson, the school’s deputy Title IX coordinator, and another four phone calls with Bigby-Williams’s former coach at Gillette College, Shawn Neary. Both Peterson and Neary had direct knowledge of the criminal investigation into Bigby-Williams, and UO failed to disclose these contacts both to SI and in its letter to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, who demanded more information about UO’s handling of the case in response to SI’s reporting.
The calls in question were apparently the only ones made by Altman to either party. An Oregon spokesperson downplayed the significance of the calls, saying that Altman never knew more about the reasons behind Bigby-Williams’s arrest. The SI report also indicates that Oregon’s Title IX office never notified the school’s director of student conduct, which is in violation of the school’s standard operating procedures.