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ESPN report on Derrick Washington to air Sunday morning

Saturday, August 23, 2014 | 7:44 p.m. CDT; updated 9:06 p.m. CDT, Saturday, August 23, 2014
Derrick Washington exits the courtroom during a break on the first day of his trial in Columbia in 2011. Washington, a former Missouri football player who was convicted of deviate sexual assault, is featured in a report by ESPN's "Outside the Lines."

COLUMBIA — For the second time in 2014, MU will make an appearance on ESPN's "Outside The Lines" program because of an alleged lack of action in reporting assault.

An "Outside The Lines" report released Thursday, titled "Athletes, assaults and inaction," will air at 8 a.m. Sunday on ESPN and will follow with big-picture commentary on its subject matter. The report alleged that MU mishandled instances of assault committed by running back Derrick Washington before his dismissal from the football team in 2010.

The report lists four cases in which Washington allegedly committed assault. The first came in 2008 when Washington was reported to have raped an MU sophomore in her dorm room No charges were filed against Washington.

In a press conference Friday afternoon, Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel said he had become aware of the allegations against Washington in 2008, but he did not discipline the star athlete.

"If they decide they're not going to press charges, then I'm not going to remove a player from the team for that," Pinkel said. "I'm consistent in how I handle any situation before."

Pinkel did, however, remove a player in April, despite the lack of charges.

The 14th-year coach dismissed wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who was listed in a police report for a burglary incident but was not charged with a crime.

Pinkel said Friday he had "other information, quite honestly" to help make his decision about Green-Beckham.

"It's confidential where I got it," Pinkel said. "I could have thrown it out, but I didn't because I have to do what's right. Regardless of what the police did, I did the right thing."

Another allegation in the Outside The Lines report describes an incident in which Missouri soccer coach Bryan Blitz reportedly used a scholarship as leverage to keep one of his players from reporting that she was assaulted by Washington. According to the ESPN report, Washington punched the player in the face after an altercation that resulted in the arrest of the soccer player and Washington's girlfriend.

Although he was aware that the soccer player was arrested, Missouri athletics director Mike Alden said in Friday's press conference that he did not know she and Blitz had a conversation about the status of her scholarship until February 2014.

In a teleconference Thursday, MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said Blitz was trying to let the soccer player know her scholarship could be in danger because she was arrested.

"What seems to be clear is the soccer player and coach had a conversation," Loftin said. "Sometimes two people talk to each other and leave the room with a different understanding of that conversation."

The third instance involving Washington occurred in June 2010 when former MU student and tutor Teresa Braeckel reported that Washington entered her bedroom in the middle of the night and sexually assaulted her.

Pinkel said he learned that Washington could be arrested for the sexual assault before the 2010 season began. He sat down with the senior captain and discussed the severity of his actions.

"We've got problems here," Pinkel said he told Washington.

Washington was charged with felony deviate sexual assault Aug. 30, 2010, and was dismissed from the team in September. He still had a scholarship to continue attending school at MU, but he withdrew from school shortly after his dismissal.

Washington was sentenced to five years in prison but served a 120-day shock sentence for the assault. He pleaded guilty to third-degree assault in the attack of his ex-girlfriend — which occurred three months after the 2010 assault — and served a 90-day sentence concurrently with the shock sentence.

Alden said although he knows of the Title IX reporting procedures in place at MU now, he was not aware of said procedures when he learned of Washington's alleged 2008 rape.

"To my knowledge, for me, with MUPD being involved and other people that I informed, certainly I felt like we were reporting it the way we normally report things," Alden said about Washington's assault in 2008.

"Those types of things are much, much better today than they would have been in 2008," Alden added.

New attention was brought to how MU and the UM System handles Title IX cases in January when ESPN reported on the suicide of Sasha Menu Courey. That report — also released on ESPN by "Outside The Lines" — occurred roughly 16 months after the former MU swimmer was allegedly assaulted by one or more football players.

Supervising editor is Mark Selig.


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