Providence Police Reportedly Investigating 2 Players for Sexual Assault

Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 18, 2014

As the venue is cleaned, a Big East Conference logo is seen on the court after Georgetown played Western Carolina in an NCAA college basketball game at the Verizon Center in Washington, on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012.  The seven Big East schools that don't play FBS football have decided to leave the conference and pursue a new basketball framework.  The seven schools are: Georgetown, St. John's, Villanova, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall and Providence. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

Providence, R.I., authorities are investigating a claim by a Providence College student that she was sexually assaulted by two members of the men's basketball team—one who now attends the University of Oregonin November. 

According to the report by The Wall Street Journal's Matthew Futterman and Rachel Bachman, the names of the alleged assailants were not revealed by the police, but the report cites a source close to the situation who believes highly touted freshmen Rodney Bullock and Brandon Austin are the ones under investigation. 

Both players were suspended on Nov. 6—just three days following the date of the alleged incident—for “not upholding their responsibilities as student-athletes," according to a statement from the school, via CBS Sports' Jeff Borzello.

That original suspension, according to The Wall Street Journal's source, was a result of the school's internal review of the sexual-assault claim, but the players are now being investigated by Providence police. 

The alleged victim, who originally went to campus police immediately after the alleged incident, didn't alert Providence police until "a couple of weeks ago."

After the players' indefinite suspensions were turned into season-long ones, Bullock remained on the team and continued to practice with the Friars, but Austin transferred to Oregon, where he will be eligible to play in December. 

Bullock's lawyer, Bill Lynch, said the original campus investigation was conducted by a former Rhode Island State Policeman and made the following statement:

"After this extensive review and this hearing process in which everyone participated, the penalty meted out was the only one meted by the school, and I think that speaks volumes."

In the midst of this development, Ed Cooley will have to make sure his team is focused when the Friars take on North Carolina on Friday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.