Rasheed Sulaimon Says Dismissal Was Not Due To Sexual Assault Allegations


Rasheed Sulaimon is in the news for the second time this week, this time it has to do with his first public comments since being dismissed from the Duke basketball team. Sulaimon said on Wednesday that he was not dismissed because of the alleged sexual assault, but he did not reveal the actual reason.

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Sulaimon was very clear in his statement saying that he has never sexually assaulted a woman.

“Me being dismissed from the team had nothing to do with this allegation,” said Sulaimon.“I have never sexually assaulted, not only anyone on the Duke campus, but anyone period, it’s not in my nature at all. I have great respect for the role of women in society. I would never demean or do anything to a woman in this manner. No, I’ve never done anything like this in my life.”

Since Sulaimon has made this statement nobody from Duke has commented including Mike Krzyzewski, so it seems as though we may never know the real reason for his dismissal. Sulaimon seems to think his dismissal had more to do with his attitude as opposed to the alleged off the court happenings.

“I’m a very competitive guy and I believe I should have been starting,” Sulaimon said. “Quite simply, I just got frustrated. In retrospect, in looking back on it, I didn’t handle it well at all. My immaturity and me being frustrated with hitting adversity, I think it greatly impacted my relationship with Coach K heavily.”

After a tremendous freshman season Sulaimon regressed in his next two years at Duke as he went from a potential lottery pick in the NBA draft to a bench player for the Blue Devils. Now that he is admitting he handled it all wrong, we have more clarity as to why he was dismissed. At the time Coach K said it was because he didn’t live up to program standards, and now we can see that obviously has to do with him not being a good teammate and failing to accept his role as a bench player.

While it is good to know that Sulaimon didn’t do anything illegal in the eyes of Duke University, it is disappointing for a promising young player to ruin his chance for something special over pride. Sulaimon was, at one point, a key part of the Duke team that went on to win the National Championship, and while he was happy Duke won, he was upset with himself for missing out on a once in a lifetime moment.

Sulaimon plans to graduate from Duke this summer and transfer to another school for his final year of eligibility. Maryland is among 10-15 schools that are recruiting Sulaimon for next year. The school that Sulaimon ultimately decides to play his final year for will undoubtedly be getting a very talented basketball player, but this news has to be somewhat of a red flag for them. While you may be getting a good player, you may also be getting a guy with a bad attitude and some selfish tendencies.

It is also possible though, that seeing his former team go on to win the National Championship has made Sulaimon grow up and really mature. We will have to wait and see what kind of teammate Sulaimon will be next year, but for now at least we have some more clarity as to why Krzyzewski dismissed him earlier this year.