Former Penn State player suing James Franklin, PSU over alleged hazing incident
Penn State football is in the headlines for another potential scandal after former PSU football player Isaiah Humphries filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the school, head coach James Franklin and former teammate Damion Barber. An alleged hazing incident is the focus of the suit.
Humphries says he was hazed Barber by PSU linebacker Micah Parsons, defensive lineman Yetur Gross-Matos and linebacker Jesse Luketa. The suit alleges that the coaching staff was aware of the hazing directed at underclassmen and did not protect Humphries. ESPN’s report of the suit states that upperclassmen told underclassmen they would be made “their b—– because this is a prison” and participants in the hazing threatened “I am going to Sandusky you,” referencing disgraced former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky, who is currently serving a 30-60 year prison term for sexually abusing children.
ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren wrote the following of the alleged hazing:
The actions included wrestling underclassmen to the ground while maintaining restraint, simulating a “humping” action; wrestling underclassmen to the ground while another participant placed his genitals on the face of underclassmen; and instances of the participants placing their genitals on the buttocks of the alleged victims and stroking their genitalia.
Penn State released a statement Tuesday:
“The university has established processes in place for responding to claims of potential misconduct. In accordance with our processes, the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response and the Office of Student Conduct carried out investigations of the plaintiff’s claims independent from Intercollegiate Athletics. In addition, Penn State police investigated related allegations and forwarded the results of that investigation to the Office of the Centre County District Attorney. The DA reviewed the case and decided that no charges would be pursued.”
There are currently two Penn State players in the NCAA’s Transfer Portal, according to 247Sports: WR Justin Shorter and DT Hunter Kelly. Shorter, a former 5-star recruit, posted a photo from Florida’s campus in December and has reportedly scheduled an official visit as a recruit this month.