Juan Dixon may be out as Coppin State University’s men’s basketball coach, but the former player who sued Dixon and the school over an alleged sexual assault and blackmail by an assistant coach is “doing just fine,” his lawyer said.
After leaving Coppin, Ibn Williams transferred to Morehouse College in Atlanta where the 5’10” New Jersey native was a point guard for the Maroon Tigers.
Williams’ lawyer had no updates on the lawsuit filed in Baltimore Circuit Court in November against Dixon and Coppin.
But he was willing to offer a progress report on his 22-year-old client, who was enrolled at the school this year as a junior.
“He’s doing very well. He just had a successful season at Morehouse,” said attorney Daniel “Donny” Epstein, of the New Jersey law firm Epstein Ostrove.
“He found a home there on a team with a coach that cares about him,” Epstein said in a phone interview with The Brew.
A photo from a nail-biter game last month shows the crowd cheering for Williams after he’d just launched a game-winning three-point shot from the corner.
That big bucket by Williams helped the Maroon Tigers clinch the No. 1 seed in their division with the victory and a 17-9 record record for the season.
“We had trust in our teammates to score,” senior guard Andrew Stewart told reporters afterwards.
“I believe we had the player of the year in Kerry Richardson and point guard of the year Ibn Williams,” Stewart said. “We just played off of them and they made our jobs easier.”
Change of Leadership Needed
Coppin announced on March 15 that it was dismissing Dixon, a Baltimore native and former University of Maryland standout player, after six seasons.
“After fully evaluating the men’s basketball program and performance, we feel a change of leadership is necessary moving forward,” Athletic Director Derek Carter said in a news release.
Celebrated in Baltimore as a hometown hero and known to a national audience for his role in “The Real Housewives of Potomac” reality show, Dixon never caught fire as a coach, ending his tenure leading the Eagles with a 51-131 overall record.
Dixon has not commented on Williams’ lawsuit, and University officials have declined to discuss pending litigation.
According to the complaint, Williams was the victim of an elaborate catfishing and blackmail scheme by a former teammate, who then served as an assistant coach and director of player development.
Dixon and the school failed to protect Williams, the 15-page complaint charges.
Coppin’s Alleged Inaction
Williams says he was contacted on social media by someone purporting to be a young woman asking for images of a “sexual nature” that he believed to be “private and in the context of a developing romantic relationship.”
Then, the lawsuit alleges, that person disclosed that the “woman” did not exist, going on to make demands for photos and sexual encounters with the assistant coach while threatening public disclosure of the material.
Unable to tell anyone what was happening and contemplating suicide, Williams told his family he was uncomfortable with the rampant drug use on the team during its away games.
That prompted his father to arrange a meeting with with Coppin officials, the complaint says, in which Dixon “indicated that he was helpless to address the drug issue in any meaningful way” and “was adamant that Plaintiff should stay with the program.”
When confronted by Williams, Dixon admitted he’d known about the assistant coach’s past inappropriate behavior, according to the complaint, but “took no action” to remedy the situation.