Dixon, Mizzou part ways
Bringing a conclusion to a tumultuous few weeks, Michael Dixon Jr. announced his transfer from Missouri on Thursday night.
In a statement, the senior guard said: "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 had been suspended since the start of this season. Initially, reasons were unclear for the suspension. However, on Tuesday of this week, multiple media outlets published part of a police report related to an August 20th sexual assault complaint filed against Dixon.
No charges resulted from the claim and, in fact, many believed it bolstered the case that Dixon should be back on the court. Dixon had appeared in front of a Student Conduct Committee which, sources indicated, had voted to expel him from the University. Dixon's case was on appeal to the office of Chancellor Brady Deaton, who had been out of the country, but was expected to return to campus on Thursday. During that time, he was allowed to practice and travel with the team, but not participate in games.
But on Thursday afternoon, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a story detailing a prior allegation against Dixon for rape, which happened in January of 2010. That case also did not result in charges against Dixon.
The Post-Dispatch story includes the following excerpts from the 2010 police report:
"(She) stated she was concerned that since Dixon is a basketball player (for Mizzou) that no one would believe her about what happened and she may be persecuted for it."
Also, "She told Dixon she would never get an abortion, and she stated Dixon told her that if he found out she was pregnant he would 'kick her in the stomach and push her down the stairs,'" She "stated Dixon was laughing as he was saying this and did not think anything was a big deal."
PowerMizzou.com first reported shortly after 6 p.m. on Thursday that Dixon was no longer a member of the Missouri basketball team. Sources indicated that he did not practice on Thursday afternoon. The University sent out the statement from Dixon at 9:34 p.m., officially ending his career as a Tiger.
Dixon has not played this season and could use this as a redshirt year. However, if he were to transfer to another Division One school, he would presumably be forced to sit out until second semester of the 2013-14 school year. If he opted to drop down a level (to Division II or lower), he would be eligible immediately.
Dixon averaged 13.5 points and 3.3 assists as a junior on last year's 30-and-5 Tiger team. He was expected to start for the Tigers and was a second-team all-SEC pre-season selection. Without him, Mizzou is off to a 5-and-1 start as it gets ready to face Appalachian State on Saturday.
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