The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday that at least four women have filed complaints to the Title IX office related to Missouri basketball player Terrence Phillips.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which reported at least three women have filed complaints, added that one of the women’s complaints against Phillips involves an incident in which he allegedly filmed a sexual encounter between them without her consent. Another outlined multiple instances of alleged predatory behavior Phillips demonstrated toward her and other women.
A complaint by one of the three accusers was backed by witness statements filed this week by two other women with the Title IX office. The Post-Dispatch confirmed via reviewed emails that the additional information had been formally submitted to investigators.
One of the accusers told the Post-Dispatch she initially didn’t file a formal complaint because of the potential ramifications making said accusations against an athlete would do to her public image. All of the women said they’d speak only on condition of anonymity because of similar concerns.
Phillips was suspended from the team indefinitely last Friday for a violation of team policy. On Sunday, the Missourian reported that one student had previously filed a Title IX complaint but had asked that the office not move forward with her case. The complaint involved allegations of physical abuse.
In the Missourian story, the student said she knew others who had filed complaints, as well. The launching of a new investigation brought her complaint, filed over a year ago, back to light. Privacy laws allow the university to withhold details on open cases, which are independent of investigations by law enforcement. Federal law mandates Title IX offices investigate reports of sexual misconduct on campuses.
MU later released a statement that neither confirmed nor denied the existence of an investigation into Phillips.
“The university takes alleged violations of Title IX very seriously, and any allegations are investigated thoroughly and fairly,” the statement read. “In some cases, interim measures are taken while an investigation is pending.”
Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin confirmed Tuesday that Phillips was under investigation from the Title IX office, and that he was not allowed to practice, travel or be around the team. Martin said he was made aware of the investigation 20 minutes before the team boarded the plane last Friday to face Mississippi State.
“You’re always surprised when you see things,” Martin said Wednesday. “You’re always surprised, because it’s somebody’s child on both sides, whatever the case may be.”
“There are two sides to every story,” Phillips told The Star. “Some people really want to say ‘Me too’ because apparently it’s the cool thing to do. I have a side. I am cooperating with Mizzou like I was instructed. Unfortunately I can’t say a lot, but at the end of the investigation, I intend to be cleared from the accusations. People who know me know this isn’t me.”
Phillips is a junior from Orange County, California. Last year, he served on the SEC’s Men’s Basketball Leadership Council.