EUGENE, Ore. — A federal judge says three former basketball players who sued the University of Oregon after being suspended following a 2014 rape investigation do not have to pay the university’s attorney fees or court costs.

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane said Thursday that awarding attorney fees to the university would have the potential to chill future students from filing civil rights claims against university officials.

The Register Guard reported Sunday that the judge in 2016 dismissed claims filed against the university by Brandon Austin, Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson. The judge found no evidence to back up the players’ argument that university officials denied them due process and acted on gender bias.

The university sought reimbursement of nearly $53,000 in attorney fees and court costs.

The former student-athletes have asked a federal appeals court to review their cases.