Phone Records of Oregon's Altman Raise Questions

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University of Oregon head basketball coach Dana Altman might have been much more involved in his school’s response to rape allegations against power forward Kavell Bigby-Williams than the school originally acknowledged.

Bigby-Williams, a transfer from Gillette (Wyo.) College, was under investigation for an alleged rape in Wyoming while he was a student at UO. School officials at UO had said that Altman was aware police were investigating Bigby-Williams but didn’t know the specifics of the situation. 

UO has a policy of not telling coaches when their players are under investigation for sexual assault so as not to taint the investigation. 

Altman’s cell phone records, obtained by Sports Illustrated under the Freedom of Information Act, tell a different story.

According to SI, Altman had five phone calls from Lisa Paterson, UO’s deputy Title IX coordinator and a senior associate athletic director, and four calls with Bigby-Williams’ former coach at Gillette, Shawn Neary, all within the first 48 hours after the school learned of the allegations.

The phone calls lasted 41 minutes in total and began on Sept. 28, 2016, the same day the university police first contacted Bigby-Williams. SI reports that the nine calls were also an anomaly. Altman had had no other contacts with Paterson or Neary except for those immediately after the school learned of the investigation into Bigby-Williams. 

Paterson’s calls to Altman suggest UO might have broken its own policies for dealing with sexual assault. 

In June 2017, Bigby-Williams told police that sex with the woman was consensual, and he was never charged with a crime.

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