A potential Faustian bargain has apparently appeared in front of Cal. Dominic Artis is considering Cal as a landing spot in a transfer from Oregon.
SCOOP: sources tell @CalRivals that Cuonzo Martin and staff have had multiples discussions with Dominic Artis regarding potential transfer— Cal Rivals (@CalRivals) June 1, 2014
I'm told that Cal is one of the four finalists even.
Who is Dominic Artis? He is a former Oregon men's basketball player from San Francisco recently dismissed from the Ducks. Why was he dismissed? Well, he's had several run ins with various agencies of differing seriousness. On the less serious side, he was suspended for selling NCAA gear:
Oregon sophomores Dominic Artis and Ben Carter will be suspended multiple games -- including Friday's nationally televised season-opener against Georgetown -- for selling team gear in violation of NCAA rules, the school announced late Tuesday.
The suspensions are currently labeled as indefinite.
"Ben and Dominic are two good young men who made a poor decision that was against NCAA rules," said Oregon coach Dana Altman. "I feel that both regret their decisions and the impact that it has on their teammates and our university."
DuckTerritory.com previously reported the suspensions and described Artis and Carter -- as well as three former Oregon players -- as having sold "exclusive basketball shoes." Oregon self-reported the violation to the NCAA, and the players' appeal for reinstatement is still being considered. A source told CBSSports.com that one point of contention is the value of the shoes because "exclusive" Nikes could theoretically be worth quite a bit of money, which could stretch the suspensions beyond what common sense might suggest. Either way, a source said, Oregon is hoping for leniency because the violations were self-reported and not the result of an NCAA investigation.
Frankly, when it comes to the NCAA's crack down on attempted capitalism, I'm more on Artis' side here than anything. However, getting suspended from the team indefinitely is never a good sign. What is much more troubling is his role in an alleged rape case:
News broke Monday evening when three members of the Oregon men’s basketball team were suspended from team activities because of their alleged involvement in the rape of a University of Oregon woman. Sophomore guard Damyean Dotson is currently under investigation by the university. Sophomore Dominic Artis and freshman Brandon Austin were also allegedly involved, however they are not under investigation.
The news came after the Eugene Police Department released a 24-page police detailing out a series of incidents that occurred in the early hours of March 9 at the home of basketball player Johnathan Loyd and the apartment where Dotson and Artis live.
Eugene police interviewed eight individuals and obtained phone recordings between the survivor and two of the men.
Over the course of 12 separate interviews, two separate incidents inside a bathroom during a party and one more at an apartment leased to Dotson and Artis was detailed. The interviews contain inconsistent details.
If you want to read the full details, you can find the police report here. The details are extremely disturbing. The DA ended up not pressing charges. Even though the police report states that there is no doubt the incident occurred, the DA felt there was insufficient evidence to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt. This is the nature of rape allegations, which can be unprovable for many reasons outside of the victim's control. Additionally, here, apparently the victim acted in a manner that made it tougher for the DA to prove their case. In the American criminal justice system, you are innocent until proven guilty and so Artis will never be found guilty in a court of law regarding these allegations. We've seen this story over and over again, even with people as powerful as Kobe Bryant and Jameis Winston.
Cal men's basketball may not be a court of law, but remember, Cal is currently under investigation by the federal government for botching sexual assault charges:
Bringing on a player involved with a sexual assault investigation is not the move Cal needs to be making right now. Or, really, ever. In my personal opinion, these allegations (independent of the previous problem with selling the NCAA equipment) are sufficient for me to not want Artis on the team. I do not want to root for him. I do not want Cal associated with him in any way.
Of course, my opinion does not matter. Cuonzo Martin is the one calling the shots here. We'll keep you updated as we hear more about this situation.
If you are interested in seeing how Artis is on the court, here is a highlight video: