Kavell Bigby-Williams played one season for the Oregon men’s basketball team, helping the Ducks to the Final Four in 2016-17. For the entirety of that season, he was being investigated for sexual assault by police in Wyoming for an incident that took place in September near Gillette College, the junior college from which Bigby-Williams transferred to Oregon.
According to a report by the Emerald’s Kenny Jacoby, a woman accused Bigby-Williams of sexually assaulting her at an apartment near the Gillette College campus sometime between 10 p.m. on Sept. 17 and 3 a.m. on Sept. 18, about a week before fall classes began at Oregon. The Northern Wyoming Community College District (NWCCD) campus police then began its investigation, which according to Jacoby remains open, though NWCCD police refused to comment about it. Bigby-Williams has since announced his intention to transfer to Louisiana State.
It remains unclear whether Ducks Coach Dana Altman, Athletic Director Rob Mullens or other school officials were aware of the specifics of the investigation. According to Jacoby, the NWCCD police asked University of Oregon police in September to interview Bigby-Williams about the incident. Detective Kathy Flynn then requested the player’s contact information from the Oregon athletic department, but no one there asked the police officer why she wanted that information, a school spokesman told Jacoby. The player then twice blew off the detective’s requests for an interview, with his Wyoming-based attorney eventually asking Flynn to stop calling Bigby-Williams, which she did.
Oregon President Michael Schill told Jacoby that he was unaware of the sexual assault allegation against Bigby-Williams. Other school officials declined to comment.
Altman and Oregon have faced similar scrutiny in the past. In May 2014, it was revealed that the school had known about sexual assault allegations lodged against three Ducks players just before the start of that year’s NCAA tournament. Two of the three players — Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis — were allowed to play in the tournament despite the school investigation. The other, Brandon Austin, was sitting out the season after transferring from Providence, where he had been suspended for a year while he was being investigated for a separate sexual assault.
The three players eventually were removed from the program even though prosecutors in Oregon had dismissed the criminal charges against them. The alleged victim then sued Altman and Oregon in January 2015, eventually settling for $800,000 and free tuition. Dotson, Artis and Austin also have filed a lawsuit against Oregon, accusing the school of improperly investigating the accusations and alleging the investigation cost them future income. That lawsuit is ongoing, Jacoby reports.
Bigby-Williams, a 21-year-old native of London, was a heralded junior college recruit after he averaged 16.8 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 blocks for Gillette in 2015-16, earning NJCAA Division I player of the year honors in 2015-16. In his lone season at Oregon, he played in 37 of 39 games and averaged 2.8 points and 1.3 rebounds mostly as a reserve, though his minutes increased during the Ducks’ run to the Final Four after an injury to center Chris Boucher. But this week, Bigby-Williams announced via Twitter that he intends to transfer to LSU for his final year of college eligibility, though he’ll have to sit out the 2017-18 season under NCAA transfer rules.
Bigby-Williams has yet to officially sign with LSU, however, and sports information director Michael Bonnette said in an email to The Post that the school could not comment on prospective student-athletes.