Michael Dixon announced his transfer from Missouri on Thursday, hours after a second rape allegation against the senior guard surfaced.
Dixon had been suspended indefinitely since the season’s start because of an undisclosed violation of team rules. However earlier this week it was revealed that Dixon had been accused of forcible rape in August, with the Columbia Police Department determining there was insufficient evidence to file criminal charges against him.
Then on Thursday, two days after that report was made public, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch revealed an allegation of rape against Dixon from a 2010 University of Missouri police incident report, made by a woman who was a university employee at the time. The woman declined to press charges out of fear of retaliation, according to the report, which also states that a nurse who examined the alleged victim said that she believed force was involved.
“It’s been a challenging few months and while I appreciate the support of many in the Mizzou community, including my coaches and teammates, it’s in the best interest of me, my family and the University of Missouri for me to finish my career elsewhere,” Dixon said in a statement released Thursday night by the Missouri athletics department.
Dixon was expected to be a key contributor this season. He averaged 13.5 points and 3.3 assists off the bench in last season’s 30-5 campaign that resulted in a Big 12 tournament title and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He was expected to complement junior guard Phil Pressey to create what some had expected to be the nation’s best backcourt combination.
Until this week, there was only mystery surrounding Dixon’s status. Coach Frank Haith, who announced the indefinite suspension on Oct. 26, refused to offer specifics about Dixon, except to say the suspension was not related to an NCAA or legal matter.
Then, last Friday, following Missouri’s loss to Louisville in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas, Dixon tweeted a since-deleted message: “Our team fought hard. I wish I could b out there helping them. I’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG! Nobody is going to feel sorry for us tommorow. #VCU.” That led a series of tweets from former Missouri guard Kim English, now in his rookie season with the Detroit Pistons, defending Dixon while criticizing the University of Missouri Student Conduct Committee, a group of faculty members who investigated Dixon to see if his actions violated the school’s standards of conduct.
It was believed that Missouri was waiting on the result of an appeal to be heard by Chancellor Brady Deaton, who had the power to reinstate Dixon. The Post-Dispatch reported that it was believed the committee made a ruling on Dixon with knowledge of the 2010 incident.
The accuser in that 2010 report said she feared reprisals from Dixon, who allegedly told her that if she was pregnant, he would “kick her in the stomach and push her down the stairs,” according to the report.