Under the microscope: sex abuse investigation into University of Arkansas hoops team

• Two reported incidents in which male players were accused of misconduct • Son of St Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny says he’s upset by reports An investigation into two alleged sexual assaults involving…

Under the microscope: sex abuse investigation into University of Arkansas hoops team

• Two reported incidents in which male players were accused of misconduct • Son of St Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny says he’s upset by reports

An investigation into two alleged sexual assaults involving the University of Arkansas men’s basketball team is ongoing and interviews have been conducted with players, coaches and others. The school has given no further details and state police in Little Rock have said little on the investigation.

The incidents in question are allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct reported by an alleged female victim to campus police and Arkansas State Police in the first incident and similar conduct by a male to a male victim to the second alleged sexual assault, Arkansas State Police spokeswoman Melinda Berry-Dreisbach said.

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Lee Feudal, a 23-year-old resident of Little Rock who says he was a team member at the university when the incidents occurred, told the Associated Press he was hurt by media reports that said he was a victim of the men’s basketball team. Feudal, who recently moved to Mississippi, said he was a top-100 recruit in 2013 and stayed in contact with current players who passed through his house in Little Rock until last year.

Feudal, the son of St Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, said he met the alleged victim at a dorm party and that one night, he went with her and a friend into a dorm room in the basketball team’s house. He said the sex was consensual, but that he and the woman later got into an argument when they were separated. Feudal said he called police about the incident because he thought he had been bullied.

“She’s not a girl, she’s just a (stupid) girl,” Feudal said he told the police officer. “And the cops have no power over her whatsoever.”

Feudal said he didn’t know any of the other players that were in the dorm room at the time. In one incident, three to four men entered a dorm room, forced a female student and a male student into a room, and demanded oral sex from them, Feudal said.

The case is still being investigated by Little Rock police. Other records detailing the investigation are not yet available.

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An investigation is ongoing and interviews have been conducted with players, coaches and others

Some of the other basketball players who were freshmen when the incidents are alleged to have taken place are currently in the NBA, while others who were on the team at the time are older.

No player was immediately available for comment when contacted by the Associated Press. A message left for St Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak was not immediately returned. Mike Anderson, the head coach of the Arkansas basketball team, said he had no comment.

Matheny’s father, back in St Louis, told the AP that his son was surprised to read accounts of a player being accused of such violence and that Feudal was a pleasant kid who was “ready to move on”.

A message was left seeking comment from the general manager of the Arkansas football team.

Feudal said he first heard about the sexual assault accusations after Arkansas released a statement at the end of last week saying the university was investigating.

“I think it’s very disappointing what I’ve read and what I’ve heard,” Feudal said. “It really did kind of stun me. I was really shocked to learn about it.”

Before the alleged assaults were reported, Feudal was a freshman lineman at Arkansas who appeared in 19 games over two seasons. Feudal said he played on the scout team and was never on the team’s varsity roster. Feudal is from Ropesville, Mississippi, and transferred to the University of Mississippi and transferred to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock a few weeks before reporting for his junior year of school. He plans to continue his football career in the NBA.

Mike Anderson of the University of Arkansas. Photograph: Michael B Kelley/AP

Reports of the alleged sexual assaults had no bearing on Feudal’s decision to transfer. The reporter who broke the story, KATV, has not responded to requests for comment.

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