Terrence Phillips investigated by Office for Civil Rights & Title IX

The junior guard was indefinitely suspended from the Mizzou men’s basketball team on Friday.
Terrence Phillips pushes past an Arkansas State defender during a home game on Dec. 1, 2015. Maneater file photo

Missouri basketball was dealt another personnel blow Friday when it was announced that junior guard Terrence Phillips was suspended from the team indefinitely.

Things took another turn Sunday when it was reported that Phillips is under investigation by MU’s Office for Civil Rights & Title IX, as first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Ashley Jost.

Multiple people have spoken out on social media in the last two days about alleged mistreatment and even potential physical abuse of women by Phillips. The Missouri Students Association encouraged Phillips to step down from his role on the Missouri Unions Committee as the investigation proceeds.

Phillips will remain on scholarship for now but is prohibited from participating in games or practices, head coach Cuonzo Martin said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

“It was a surprise, but I really don’t know much about it — just about as much as everyone else,” junior guard Cullen VanLeer said at a press conference.

VanLeer will be in the spotlight now, as he becomes Mizzou’s most relevant guard off the bench. The diminishing Tiger backcourt will mean increased minutes for him as well as a heavier load for the already-worked Kassius Robertson and Jordan Geist.

Phillips has averaged 10.6 minutes per game with 2.5 points and 1.1 turnovers per game. He is an 81 percent free throw shooter.

Phillips has been the SEC Men’s Basketball Leadership Council chairman and was a member of the 2017 SEC Community Service Team.

Though the precedent for Title IX investigations on student-athletes is completion by the end of the semester in which the investigation is opened, Saint Louis University carried a similar investigation of four men’s basketball players that started last September and carried into the spring semester.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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