Judge rejects Ohio basketball player’s reinstatement bid
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) A federal judge on Friday again rejected a star basketball player’s bid for reinstatement to the University of Dayton after a suspension linked to a female student’s sexual assault accusation.
Dyshawn Pierre’s one-semester suspension ends soon, but he’d hoped for a ruling to help clear his record and let him rejoin the team immediately.
His attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said he and Pierre are disappointed and considering their options, such as appealing the decision or continuing with his lawsuit against the university.
The university, which declined to comment on the ruling, previously said Pierre didn’t suffer irreparable harm and there was no reason to cut short the suspension.
His lawsuit noted that Montgomery County prosecutors declined to file charges against the 6-foot-6 senior from Toronto. Pierre has said the allegation stemmed from a consensual sexual encounter, and he called the school’s investigation “fundamentally unfair” with a “wholly irrational, unsubstantiated” conclusion after a hearing that didn’t accommodate his learning disability.
“In circumstances of this seriousness, the university owed a duty to do more than the bare minimum,” Ginsberg said. “It should have been fair and thorough and professional, and Dayton has been none of those things.”
In October, U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose denied a temporary order to stop the school from enforcing the suspension. Rose ruled that the public interest is served by allowing universities to carry out disciplinary rules and procedures to keep an educational environment harassment-free.
He wrote that the school’s hearing board found Pierre was “unable to demonstrate that he received any words or actions that indicated he had effective consent for sexual intercourse or sexual contact.”
Ginsberg argued that the disciplinary board lacked training to interpret medical and law enforcement issues in the case.
It’s unclear whether Pierre will play this season. Coach Archie Miller told the Dayton Daily News on Thursday that he’ll meet with Pierre when the suspension ends Dec. 20 to gauge his physical and mental status and ability to contribute this season. Miller said Pierre will play “if it’s feasible” or sit out a year.
The Flyers are 7-1 after upsetting No. 21 Vanderbilt on Thursday.