Lawsuit filed against Oregon, coach

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A woman who says she was sexually assaulted by three Oregon basketball players has sued the university and head men's basketball coach Dana Altman.

The suit alleging negligence and civil rights violations was filed Thursday in federal court in Eugene.

"This is a very important case that needs to be litigated," said John Clune, an attorney representing the alleged victim. "It is time for athletic departments to stop trading the safety of women on campus for points on a scoreboard. The University of Oregon community deserves better and we hope this case will help in that effort."

The lawsuit alleges that Altman knew when he recruited Brandon Austin that the player had been suspended from Providence College due to allegations of sexual misconduct. Austin transferred from Providence to Oregon.

Altman, speaking after Oregon's 80-62 loss to No. 7 Arizona, said he had no comment on the lawsuit.

Austin, along with former Ducks players Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis, were dismissed from the team in May 2014, and later suspended a minimum of four years from school, as a result of the allegations.

The suit also claims the university delayed taking disciplinary action against the players in order to help the basketball team.

The players told police the sex was consensual and prosecutors say there was insufficient evidence to file charges.

Interim president Scott Coltrane said the university disagrees with the allegations in the lawsuit and believes it acted lawfully.

"Today, the University of Oregon was notified about a lawsuit filed by a current student related to a reported incident of sexual misconduct. While unfortunate, this filing is not unanticipated," Coltrane said in a statement Thursday. "The university would prefer not to be in litigation with any student. We have been as respectful and supportive as possible of the student, including immediately implementing support services and appropriately honoring her choice of process, once hearing of her experience.

"The university disagrees with the allegations against it and believes that it acted in accordance with the law, including Title IX. This litigation in no way undermines the university's ongoing commitment to support the student inside and outside of the classroom."

Laura Fine Moro, a lawyer who has represented Austin, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Clune also represents the woman who accused Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston of sexual assault in 2012. That woman sued FSU on Wednesday, alleging it didn't protect her Title IX rights.

Information from ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com's Chantel Jennings and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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