Three Clemson University soccer coaches deny condoning the hazing ritual as a mandatory team activity.
Clemson Coaches Respond To Hazing Lawsuit
September 22, 2014
Three Clemson University soccer coaches have responded to a lawsuit in which a former player alleges she was seriously injured in a hazing incident, denying that they condoned the hazing ritual. The case also was transferred to federal court. Lawyers for head coach Eddie Radwanski and assistant coaches Siri Mullinix and Jeff Robbins moved the lawsuit filed by former soccer player Haley Ellen Hunt from state court in Pickens County to U.S. District Court in Anderson because it “raises allegations arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States,” according to a document filed Monday at the county courthouse in Pickens. Hunt sued the coaches, as well as former Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips and several other university officials because of injuries she alleges she suffered by running into a brick wall while blindfolded during a hazing episode in August 2011. She alleged that she was “kidnapped” from her dorm room during the night by upperclassmen teammates and forced into a car trunk along with other freshman players. They were driven around blindfolded for about 30 minutes and forced out of the vehicle several times “to participate in embarrassing and humiliating acts” before being taken to Riggs Field for a “secret ritual,” the lawsuit alleges. After being spun around in circles to impair her balance, the upperclassmen students “commanded her to sprint down the field while wearing a blindfold,” the suit alleges. She ran face first into a brick wall and suffered “significant and severe physical, psychological and emotional injures, including a traumatic brain injury,” the suit alleges. The coaches, in their answer, deny the “characterization” of the incident and acknowledge that Hunt was injured but say the injurious “damages were caused by the greater negligence and/or willfulness of the Plaintiff.” The answer, filed by attorneys from the Greenville firm of Willson Jones Carter & Baxley, denies Hunt’s allegations that the hazing ritual was “a mandatory team activity” and that the coaches encouraged it and granted permission for it. The answer also says a two-year statute of limitations on the case had elapsed before Hunt filed her complaint Aug. 15. Answers for the other Clemson officials and former soccer players hadn’t been filed by late Monday. Originally posted on greenvilleonline.com by Ron Barnett Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer – Ball Bonholtzer Trial Lawyer