The next question in the Dixon saga: What did the university already know?

Jamie Squire

There has already been a rather punitive aspect to Mike Dixon's suspension. Anytime head coach Frank Haith spoke about it, it was to emphasize that this was a punishment and that Dixon needed to receive the message that he was screwing up and needed to get his act together. With that in mind, then, it wouldn't surprise me if we were to learn that both the University of Missouri and Haith knew of what the Post-Dispatch revealed this evening: that Dixon had faced a rape charge in addition to the one from August that was recently revealed.

That report also led to no charges against Dixon as the alleged victim declined to press charges out of what she said was fear of retaliation and being ostracized by family. But a nurse who examined the woman said afterward that from the injuries sustained she "believes force was involved," according to the report.

The earlier case could be a pivotal factor in Dixon's future at Mizzou. His indefinite suspension apparently now hinges on an appeal of an apparent Student Conduct Committee ruling to be rendered by Chancellor Brady Deaton.

Speaking in broad terms not specific to the Dixon case, MU news bureau executive director Mary Jo Banken on Thursday said, "When a case is brought before the Student Conduct Committee, any previous accusations against the same student can be taken into account and may affect the final decision."

Some believe Dixon’s case may have been bolstered by the closing on Nov. 16 of a rape accusation against him made in August, an accusation made by the same woman whose recent posts on Twitter suggested Dixon’s suspension was related to her allegations against him.

Boone County prosecutors determined that a police investigation lacked sufficient evidence to even interview Dixon.

But the Student Conduct Committee and, ultimately, Deaton may be considering more than that one issue with Dixon and aren’t bound by the same standards as the legal system.

If this earlier charge was unknown to the university, then one has to figure Dixon might not play basketball for Missouri again. But I cannot imagine that Dixon would have been suspended and faced this student process if the August allegations were the entire case against him. I could be wrong. Regardless, without hearing his side of the story (and in the case of the 2010 charges, I'm not sure there is a "his side of the story"), it would be difficult to root for Dixon if he is reinstated. Chancellor Deaton faces an interesting decision-making process in the coming days.

UPDATE: Then again, maybe I should have checked Twitter before hitting Post.

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