SDSU Athletic Director Wicker Defends Rape Case Response | Athletic Business

SDSU Athletic Director Wicker Defends Rape Case Response

844 8447862 Sdsu Rugby San Diego State Aztecs

San Diego State University athletic director JD Wicker and Aztecs head football coach Brady Hoke walked out of a news conference Monday after making their opening statement about the alleged gang rape of a minor by football players last October.

As reported by local Fox affiliate KSWB, Wicker and Hoke were hoping to answer questions about their opening game and the debut of 35,000-seat Snapdragon Stadium during the news conference. Instead, they were repeatedly asked about an investigation into the allegation that three SDSU football players at the time, including All-American punter Matt Araiza, gang raped a 17-year-old. The incident made national headlines in recent days after a civil lawsuit was filed by the alleged victim and NFL rookie Araiza, Buffalo's sixth-round draft choice, was released by the Bills as a result.

Related: Bills, Aztecs Distance Selves from Accused in Rape Case

About 10 minutes after Wicker and Hoke left the news conference, Wicker returned by himself to take the questions head-on, laying out their timeline of events, KSWB reported. In it, Wicker said the Sand Diego Police Department asked SDSU officials to not conduct their own investigation out of fear of jeopardizing the criminal investigation.

“You always want to get to the bottom of allegations as quickly as you can, and this wasn’t just an athletic department decision; this was a decision that was made across the board at the administrative levels of the institution to allow this process to go forward,” Wicker said. “And again, I still firmly believe that allowing SDPD to handle the investigation of this was the right way to go.”

The campus has been criticized for not taking immediate action. One action the athletic department did take was inviting rape survivor Brenda Tracy — who tours the country talking to college football teams about sexual misconduct — to address the football team in a mandatory meeting 17 days after SDSU received the initial report.

“One of our pillars is to create great human beings, and it’s hard when the training you provide may not have been enough,” Wicker said. “We do great things, we have great student-athletes in this building, we have great coaches, we have great staff who do a phenomenal job. And as we all know, the actions of a few can potentially harm the greater group. So right now, I’m interested to hopefully see what the DA has to say, I’m interested to see what our investigation turns out, and we’ll move on from there.”

The San Diego Union -Tribune quoted Wicker as saying it's "absolutely not true" that the SDSU football program ignored the rape allegations.

At the news conference, SDSU handed out a six-page document on their timeline of events, KSWB reported.

SDPD has concluded its investigation and turned over findings to the district attorney. The DA office says its case is “under review” and can’t comment more on the matter.

AB Show 2022 in Orlando
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Learn More
AB Show
Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide