After a long and winding road, Michael Dixon will be allowed to return to the hardwood next season.
Dixon, a rising senior guard for the Memphis Tigers, sat out the 2012-2013 season after being accused of sexual assault, but he was cleared of those charges without ever being indicted, and on Wednesday, the NCAA proclaimed him eligible to return to the team. Dixon reportedly enrolled at Memphis this summer, but the former University of Missouri star has never taken the court for the Tigers. The excitement level for Dixon’s return can be personified best by his family, and his father gave a quote to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman after receiving the news:
“We’re so thankful to Josh Pastner and Memphis with everything they’ve done. We’re also thankful to the fans at Missouri. It’s just a blessing he’s able to play this season.”
It certainly should be stated that Memphis head coach Josh Pastner did not have to stand by Dixon through it all, but chose to do so and was vindicated. He has the reputation of a player’s coach, and this is another example of why he has earned that moniker.
Dixon averaged over 13 points and 3 assists per game as a bench player with Missouri in 2011-2012, and frankly, he becomes one of the best players on the Memphis roster immediately. Memphis is, once again, loaded with guards, but it would be a minor surprise to see Dixon anywhere but in the starting lineup when next season opens.