Missouri Opens Title IX Investigation into Terrence Phillips After Suspension

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2018

Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin, left, talks with Terrence Phillips during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Illinois Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, in St. Louis. Illinois won 70-64. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The University of Missouri-Columbia's Title IX office has opened an investigation into basketball player Terrence Phillips, who was recently suspended indefinitely by the school, according to Ashley Jost of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

One person spoke on the condition of anonymity with the Post-Dispatch, alleging that at least one case against Phillips involves multiple allegations of physical abuse."

The Columbia and Mizzou police departments told Jost that Phillips doesn't have an arrest record, though she added that the "Title IX process runs independently of any law enforcement investigations."

The Title IX office investigates cases involving "sex discrimination and sexual violence on campus." Jost obtained an email from the university to the alleged victim confirming that a Title IX investigation had been opened.

Phillips was suspended Friday.

"Phillips' future status with the program will be determined in coordination with campus and department leadership," Missouri Basketball announced, per Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Head coach Cuonzo Martin said Saturday night he didn't know when Phillips would return to the team, according to Matter.

"While we cannot confirm or deny any actions from the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX, we are aware of today's reports regarding one of the university's students," Missouri said in a statement on Sunday, via Alec Lewis of the Columbia Missourian. "We want to reiterate that the safety of our students, faculty and staff is paramount. The university takes alleged violations of Title IX very seriously, and any allegations are investigated thoroughly and fairly. In some cases, interim measures are taken while an investigation is pending."

Phillips, a junior, was a starter in his first two seasons with the Tigers before being relegated to a backup role in the 2017-18 campaign.

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