Five Kansas players interviewed as witnesses after alleged rape in basketball dorm
No charges have been filed; Bill Self addresses investigation, admits it's a 'distraction'
An investigation into the alleged rape of a 16-year old girl at Kansas was addressed by coach Bill Self heading into Saturday's clash with Kentucky in the Big 12-SEC Challenge.
According to the Kansas City Star, university police have been investigating the reported rape, which took place between Dec. 17 and Dec. 18 at McCarthy Hall, which houses the men's basketball team. The police report, obtained by the Star, listed five players as witnesses: Frank Mason III, Mitch Lightfoot, Lagerald Vick, Tucker Vang and Josh Jackson. Police have not filed charges nor released information about potential suspects, citing the ongoing investigation.
The athletic department has been cooperating with investigators and Self said "if there was an issue" with any individual player "they wouldn't be playing."
"There's an alleged incident that took place there and the people were listed that are potential witnesses in some way, and that could be a plethora of ways...what a witness potentially could be," Self said Thursday on the Big 12 coaches call. "That's all we know at this point and certainly it's not going to minimize it at all because it's such a serious potential allegation that took place in McCarthy Hall, but I'm also not going to draw something from it that in no way, shape or form have we been told that is there right now."
Still even with no personnel issues going into Saturday's game at Kentucky, Self acknowledged the investigation has been a distraction for the team.
"It certainly is a distraction without question," Self said. "The Kentucky game is a big game. It's probably as big a game for fans as it is for players, but certainly players. It's a game that you circle and you look forward to playing whenever the season begins and whenever we start practicing.
"Sure, it's a distraction, I mean how could it not be? But it's not a distraction from our guys' standpoint from a film standpoint. It's a distraction because you have to hear about it and go through it."
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