I was in the midst of writing a #FreeMikeDixon article when the report of what we believed to the reason Dixon was suspended all along – a rape accusation from August 2012 – broke. It appeared to be a classic case of he-said, she-said since their were no charges filed after a police investigation cited a lack of evidence. So, I held off, despite my belief that it was ridiculous that he was not on the court for an accusation that led to nothing legal. In most cases, players are suspended while an incident runs its course with the law…which has already happened.
So, why wasn’t he playing? Why was his name getting drug through the mud, if there was a chance that he had nothing wrong and no “laws” were broken. There had to be something more. Then yesterday news broke of another rape accusation dating back to January 2010, Dixon’s freshman year, involving a former MU employee, who chose NOT to press charges.
So, there it is. Two rape allegations, no charges filed, no legal recourse.
Minutes later, Dixon announced he was leaving the program, and planned to transfer and issued the following statement:
|[adsenseyu6]||“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 to finish my career elsewhere.”|
Earlier in the day, it became evident that he was done with the program following the leak of the second – and earliest – allegation to become public and this text message that was forwarded to the Columbia Missourian newspaper from a fiend (who wants to remain anonymous) of Dixon:
“Yea, I’m done here bro…I’m not gonna be here anymore. Another girl from my freshman year pulled this on me…now it’s coming out and everyone is gonna think it is real, so I’m gonna thru bro…I appreciate you, though. Just let as many people as you can know.”
He then wrote in a subsequent message: “I have never harmed anyone”
So, that is it. It is done. It has gone from #FreeMikeDixon to bye, bye Mike Dixon, who now appears to be running from his problem and wants to get as far away from Mizzou as he can (who can blame him, really). The question now becomes, will anyone want him? Is anyone willing to take a chance on him? I am sure someone, somewhere will take a chance. He will land somewhere. If he chooses another Division 1 school, he won’t be eligible until the end of the first semester next year and will have just one semester of eligibility left for the second half of the 2013-14 season. If this occurs, Mike Anderson – the man who recruited him – and Arkansas could be a destination. Another, more likely route will be dropping a level (D2 or lower) and playing immediately. In addition, it is curious that Mizzou let him leave the program instead of dismissing him from the team. He could have even chose to redshirt this year and went to another institution after he “graduated.”
Lets forget Mike Dixon and cheer for our current Tigers, but lets also remember him. Dixon is correct, it is in the best interest of everyone involved for him to move on. Frankly, it had became a distraction to the team.
Now, the Tigers will move on without the Preseason 2nd Team SEC selection. They are still loaded and get Jabari Brown, the 2011 5-star recruit and No. 9 player in that class. Lets hope he is the real deal, Missouri desperately needs a consistent shooting and scoring guard, now that Dixon is gone. Maybe even more than missing Dixon’s aggressive attitude, big shots and “in-your-face, f-you” dagger shots that ignite a run, end an opposing run or put a game away, will be the loss (even though he hasn’t played yet this year) of the other PG on the team. Yes, Dixon plays SG at times so he and Phil Pressey could be on the court at the same time, but this year one of them would be on the court at all times. Now, when Pressey is out of the game (in close games, Haith can’t even afford to have him off the floor) someone is playing out of position, handling the ball, reminding me of the days when Jimmy McKinney was forced to play PG by necessity.
The timeline of the events are after the jump
So, how did we get here? When the suspension was announced Oct. 26, it was viewed to be a short suspension, somewhere along the lines of 3-5 days. The “word on the street” – and I heard it from a very good source, that Dixon had been missing and/or was late to mandatory meetings, such 7:30 am team breakfast’s, etc. Head coach Frank Haith said it was nothing “legal.” Dixon traveled with the team to the Bahamas for the Thanksgiving weekend Tournament, and it appeared it was a good sign that he may be getting close to playing again. This is about the same time that speculation began swirling that Dixon had been accused of some sort of sexual assualt, but also tweeted out from the Bahamas that he “had done nothing wrong” and Kim English got into a back-and-forth conversation via Twitter with a female who came out identifying herself as the “victim” in the August 2010 accident. This is when things began to change, and began going downhill for Dixon.
English tweeted, “The University of Missouri ‘student board’ is a joke. Acting and making a decision without having actual facts. University should be ashamed.”
This is when the pieces began coming together. This is when it became clear that the student board voted to expel Dixon (with a 3-2 vote) and the only thing saving his season was Chancellor Brady Deaton, who was a long “goodwill” trip to India. Only, the Chancellor could overturn the student board’s decisions – and it was believed he would, when he got back, which was earlier this week.
At this point, Missouri fans, myself included, were on the #FreeMikeDixon bandwaggon. How can a player not be on the court when there were no legal ramifications to the allegation? Can any girl just make an allegation and that is it, it is over for that said player?
#FREEMIKEDIXON! we all screamed!
Now, back to English. Kimmie is a mouth piece for Mizzou. He loves the University and it a great ambassador for it. When he speaks, we all listen. So, when he said the school’s decision was a joke, we trusted it. Many of us already thought it was a joke that he wasn’t playing, anyway. But there was still the outside thought that English was just standing up, defending his best friend. I, and many others, just assumed that English knew more than we did and knew the whole story.
On Monday, sources indicated that it was likely Dixon would miss the rest of the first semester, as Deaton would drag it out for that long as punishment to Dixon, and return to the court for Dec. 17’s home game against South Carolina St. But, this was far from “a few games” that the suspension started out as. Some were beginning to wonder if he would ever play a game again for Mizzou.
Then Tuesday’s report came out, outlining what the August 2012 incident, which the young female brought into the limelight in her exchange with English:
“The student board is not a joke. Dixon is a rapist and I know this because I am the victim…I don’t care if (English) or anyone at the school doesn’t believe me. Please, do not ever say he did nothing wrong, because he did.”
English also added that Haith and Dixon have handled the suspension with “professionalism” and that is why he “loves Frank Haith” and that he is the “best coach he has EVER had.”
Then, I read the report, and it was even more clear that Dixon should be on the court and that the whole thing seemed to be handled poorly by the University. There is a reason why the accusers claim would not stand up in court, let alone warrant any charges against Dixon. Read for yourself:
[adsenseyu6] She said she invited Dixon to her apartment to get to know him better. She said he suggested they turn out the lights because his “eyes hurt” and that, after initially resisting, she agreed to turn off the lights and they went to her bed. She said that while she tried to talk to Dixon, he leaned in to kiss her and she kissed him back. She said Dixon got on top of her and “she told Dixon she did not want to do this but that she just wanted to kiss him.” According to the report, she said Dixon told her to “chill out” and began tugging at her pajama pants. She said she told Dixon multiple times to stop, to which he responded, “just chill out.” She said she tried unsuccessfully to push Dixon off of her but couldn’t. She said she told Dixon, “No, you don’t even have protection, this is disgusting,” and that after saying that, Dixon removed a condom from his pocket and put it on. She said that soon afterward Dixon penetrated her with his penis and she was in pain and unable to move. She said Dixon asked her to turn around so he could penetrate her from behind, which she did. When asked by the investigating officer if she ever tried to stop Dixon, she said “she had just let it happen and she did not know why.” She said she was not afraid of being struck by Dixon. According to the report, the woman said Dixon stopped after about 20 minutes and she reached for her pajama pants. She said that when Dixon asked why she was trying to put on her pants, she replied, “because this was never supposed to happen in the first place.” She said she went to the bathroom and when she returned Dixon asked her to perform oral sex on him. She said she told him no, and then Dixon asked her to masturbate him, which she did. She stated “she didn’t know why she did.” She said Dixon left soon thereafter. According to the police report, the investigating officer asked if she had gone to the hospital to have a sexual assault kit done, and she said she had not but would do so. She went to University Hospital later that night to have a sexual assault kit done, and police collected it as evidence on Aug. 21. A follow-up report detailed the woman’s second interview with the Columbia Police Department, this time with Sgt. Steven McCormack on Aug. 21. The explanation of the alleged rape was similar, although it stated that Dixon only arrived at her apartment at approximately 12:40 a.m. on Aug. 20. The explanation also included more details, such as she met Dixon met at a fraternity party in March and had tried to date the previous semester. She said that Dixon would try to visit her late at night to have sex but that she would say no.
She said that after the alleged rape she yelled at him, “telling him that basketball athletes are all alike, and they like to have sex with all the girls.” She said after the alleged rape she walked Dixon to the door and opened it for him. She said she and Dixon had not spoke since it happened but that she sent him a text message approximately two minutes after he left her apartment. According to the report, the text she sent said they should hang out together, and was sorry for yelling at him. She also told Dixon she didn’t want him just using her for sex. Dixon sent her a text back, saying “Okay.” The woman told Dixon to send her a text when he was free. Dixon said “Okay.”
When asked why she didn’t initially report the offense, she said she “didn’t want to go through the Rape Kit and Police Reports.” She “also had concerns about seeing Dixon on campus, and said he is a really good athlete in basketball. She also said people worship Mr. Dixon, they wouldn’t take her seriously, and the school wouldn’t take it seriously.” She said she decided to report the alleged rape on the advice of her sisters. The woman said she threw away the condom Dixon used, but the police recovered it from the trash.
The woman, in response to a message from McCormack, left McCormack a voicemail message on Aug. 22 that she wanted to prosecute. A follow-up report states that the woman and McCormack tried to cold call Dixon on Aug. 24 but did not reach him. There is no evidence in the offense report or follow-up reports that police ever interviewed Dixon. A later follow-up report stated that the woman tried to contact Dixon via text message on Aug. 27 but he did not respond. The next day, she told police she sent him another text message and told him he was ignoring her and called him an “asshole.” In more follow-up interviews with McCormack, the woman shared text-message exchanges with Dixon she had after the alleged rape. Included was the following exchange from Sept. 4: Woman: “Just delete my number. Dont want anything to do with you.” Dixon: “I’m sorry its not you I told you that I don’t have any problems with u I have just had to rethink my priorities and do what’s best for me.” Woman: “Michael, what kind of person has sex with someone then doesn’t want to contact them afterwards. I barely text you. I didn’t even want to have sex with you in the beginning; I pretty much made that clear with you since last semester, but no Michael always gets what he wants. I told you before I cut those damn lights off we werent going to have sex. I had no intentions of doing that with you because I don’t have sex with guys I barely know. You only wanted to come over that night for sex anyways. I just wasn’t going to let you. But no you weren’t taking no for an answer. So that is Why Im mad at you. Because you used me…And the fact that you dont have the decency to respond to How i feel. Im assuming you don’t care which is fine. I just know I was right about you all along.”
Dixon didn’t respond to the last three messages.
In the final follow-up police report on Nov. 16, McCormack listed under follow-up remarks: “insufficient evidence to file criminal charges.”
Then, Thursday’s report came out (According to a 2010 MU Police Department report the Missourian received Thursday evening). This is from last night’s Columbia Missourian:
In the 2010 report, the woman said she met Dixon on Jan. 9 at an apartment belonging to other basketball players. Later that night, the woman said Dixon and another player came to her apartment to ask for a ride home. Shortly after she dropped them off, Dixon called and said he left his keys at the other basketball players’ apartment, so she picked him up and took him there to get them.
When no one answered the door, Dixon and the woman went back to her apartment to wait. At the woman’s apartment, the report said Dixon was making “verbal advances” toward her, even when she said she did not want to have sex with him. When the woman went to her bedroom, Dixon followed her, the report said.
The woman reported that once there, Dixon “forcefully pulled her pants off and placed her on the bed.” After, the report said, “Dixon then forcefully pinned his knee into her hip on the bed so she could not get away.” The woman said she told him “no” several times, but Dixon continued to hold her down.
The report said that to make him stop, the woman told Dixon that she was not taking birth control and told him he was hurting her, but she could not get away, and he continued. Eventually, the report said, she stopped fighting because she was in pain and closed her eyes until it was over.
A nurse who examined the woman afterward said in the report that she thought that given the injuries the woman sustained, force was involved.
The woman told Detective Sam Easley she was not going to press charges against Dixon because she did not want her family to know or deal with pressure or harassment from other people. She said in the report that she was worried that because Dixon was a basketball player, no one would believe her and she might be “persecuted” because of it.
In a page of the report dated Jan. 21, 2010, Easley said the woman still refused to press charges.
It was then, at that point, that I immediately knew he was done. At this point, it did not matter if both allegations were complete BS or that nothing came from either. It can no longer be considered an isolated incident. Legally, nothing had came of these allegations, but this plus a 2010-11 season suspension for alleged marijuana use (although it is possible that he was suspended for the alleged rape/sexual assault) and academic issues, there was certainly enough for the University to take action (which they likely had) and/or a suspension, maybe even a dismal from the basketball team.
And, just like that it was over. Now, the best backcourt in the nation, will be missing one-half of its engine. Now, there will be no more “when Mike Dixon returns” or “wait till Mike Dixon returns.” He isn’t coming back. He is gone. The announcement that he was leaving came after the release of another allegation, but it appears that his decision to leave the program had already been made (or made for him) as the text message that made its way to the Columbia Missourian was sent in the afternoon and sources indicate that Dixon did not practice yesterday and that is locker had already been cleaned out. It sucks all the way around for everyone, ESPECIALLY the alleged victims. It is a sad way to end a career, one that had already seen several honors and even more awaited for a senior season – once promising, now over.
A local product from Lee’s Summit West High School, where he was named Mr. Show Me Basketball in 2009 as the state’s best player, where he finished his high school career with 1,849 points, 532 assists and 245 career steals. He averaged 24.2 points and 5.5 assists as a senior, leading the Titans to 21 straight wins during the season. I had the joys of covering him and seeing him score 28 straight points in a comeback against Grandview, led by current Utah Jazz Alex Burks.
Dixon received offers from Arizona, Purdue, Oklahoma, Marquette, Louisville and California before choosing to stay home and play for Missouri, joining former AAU teammates Marcus Denmon and Steve Moore.
As a freshman at Missouri in 2009-2010, he started eight games, averaging 16.6 minutes per game and scoring 7.5 points per game. As a junior in 2011-2012, he was conference and national Sixth Man of the year, leading all bench players nationally with a 13.5 scoring average.
As sports fans, this stinks. Obviously. As Missouri fans, we have been lucky. We don’t have to deal with this too often. The Derrick “Digital Penetration” Washington saga began to unfold over two years ago, but that’s been about it in terms of recent history. Washington was dealt with swiftly and with no mercy, and eventually Dixon was treated in the same manner, although without the legal ramifications. No matter the outcome for Missouri basketball, hopefully the complete truth will come out and everybody can go on about their lives. One thing is certain, Missouri basketball will be going on without arguably their best player on the team. As Missouri fans, we are numb to these type of deals and shouldn’t bu surprised with losing a player. We are Missouri, this is what happens to us. When ever something good seems to be there (Missouri is predicted to be a Final Four caliber team), something always comes along to screw it up, and for this season, this is it. Maybe, it will be a blessing in disguise, like last year when Missouri lost forward Laurence Bowers and evolved Missouri into a unique and special team that won 30 games and brought Bowers back for another year as a veteran amidst all the newcomers. Missouri is in a position to survive this, with a deep, athletic team, but it still hurts. Missouri has proven it misses his scoring, it needs one more ball-handler and one more strong 3-point shooter. Dixon is/was both of those things. Now the pressure REALLY falls on Jabari Brown to be that guy. He is SUPPOSED to be that guy, but we don’t really know for sure as he cost a year of his eligibility playing just two games at Oregon last year before leaving the program. Mizzou is certainly a more flawed team without Dixon, as we have seen, but they have began to adjust to not having him, so lets hope it continues.
Now, let us not be quick to judge, let us not rush to judgement. We should be careful and cautious when doing such things until everything has come out. AS OF NOW, Dixon is not a criminal, but he clearly was in trouble with the school and his season – and his playing career – were in serious jeopardy. This was the best thing for everyone.
Mike Dixon = Former Tiger
The Missourian: Title IX gives universities greater latitude to punish students accused of sexual assault
The Trib: No charges filed after Dixon accused of rape
KC Star: Police report says MU’s Dixon accused of rape but not charged
Post-Dispatch: Police report says MU’s Dixon accused of rape but not charged