COLUMBIA — Missouri basketball guard Michael Dixon Jr. announced his transfer from the school Thursday evening, according to an email from Dave Reiter, director of strategic communications for the basketball team.
"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, according to the email.
A 2008 Missourian story examined sexual assault reports and the lack of charges at MU and other college campuses. Prosecutors explained that the perpetrators must know they don't have consent for the act to be defined as a crime and that question of consent becomes an issue in filing charges. The story is available to read for free.
Earlier, Dixon revealed in a text message sent to a friend Thursday afternoon that he is no longer with the basketball team.
This message was sent to Dixon's friend: "Yea I'm done here bro I'm not gonna be here anymore another girl my freshman year pulled this ... on me now it's coming out and everyone is gonna think it's real so I'm thru bro I appreciate you tho just let as many (people) as u can know"
He then wrote in a subsequent message: "I have never harmed anyone"
The texts were forwarded to a Missourian reporter by the recipient, who asked to remain anonymous.
According to a 2010 MU Police Department report the Missourian received Thursday evening, a woman accused Dixon of forcible rape on Jan. 11, 2010.
The news came just two days after a report that another woman tweeted she was also sexually assaulted by Dixon on Aug. 20 of this year.
Dixon has been suspended since Oct. 26 after Missouri coach Frank Haith announced that he had violated team policy. At the time, Haith said it was not a legal matter that was keeping Dixon on the bench.
On Saturday, allegations of an incident surfaced on Twitter when a woman tweeted that she was sexually assaulted by Dixon in August of this year. Columbia police released a report Tuesday detailing the allegations and subsequent investigation.
Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Tracy Gonzalez told the Missourian on Tuesday that after a Columbia police investigation, there was not enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in court.
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.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the woman met with then-Missouri basketball coach Mike Anderson, and that he was sympathetic and even cried during their meeting. But Anderson also told the woman he could do nothing until she moved forward with the accusation, according to the Post-Dispatch.
According to a source who worked in the basketball office in 2010, Anderson said there was no substantial evidence to suspend Dixon indefinitely, but that Anderson knew that if he did not take any action, it would cause a backlash.
"Anderson was like, 'We're going to believe our players,'" said the source, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals. "It was important that they suspend Dixon those first few games because it wasn't in the real season, and they needed him to play during the actual games."
"They weren't adamant about finding the truth out," the source said. "It was good that she dropped it and they weren't going to push it any further."
On Wednesday, MU News Bureau executive director Mary Jo Banken told the Missourian that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits MU from disclosing whether Dixon's conduct was being reviewed by the university's Student Conduct Board.
The committee, which is composed of MU faculty members and students, decides cases using MU's Standard of Conduct.
Dixon, a senior, grew up in Kansas City and attended Lee's Summit West High School, where he was named Mr. Show Me Basketball in 2009 as the state’s best player. 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.
Dixon was highly recruited out of high school, receiving offers from Arizona, Purdue, Oklahoma, Marquette, Louisville and California before committing to Missouri. He had previously played on AAU teams with Marcus Denmon and Steve Moore, both of whom were already on the Missouri roster when he made his decision.
He contributed immediately as a freshman at Missouri in 2009, starting eight games, averaging 16.6 minutes per game and scoring 7.5 points per game. As a junior in 2012, he averaged 13.5 points and 3.3 assists per game, coming off the bench in all 35 games he played.
Dixon, who will turn 22 Saturday, is a sports management major at MU and hopes to pursue coaching after his playing career is over.
The 6-foot-1 point guard scored a career-high 30 points in a win over William and Mary on Dec. 18, 2011. He also contributed 21 points apiece in wins over Iowa State and Texas last season, and recorded 22 points and five assists in Missouri’s loss to Norfolk State in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
After the 2012 season, the conference’s coaches named Dixon the Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year. He was also named to the conference’s All-Defensive team.
Zach Murdock, Mike Vorel, Jacob Kirn and Eric Short contributed to this report.
Supervising editor is Greg Bowers.