Former Troy University Football Player Files Lawsuit Against Former Teammate, Three Coaches
A former Troy University football player has filed a federal lawsuit against the university, a former teammate and three coaches, alleging harassment and bullying.
Plaintiff John Haynes is seeking a jury trial against former teammate and suitemate Jack Dawson as well as coaches Brian Blackmon, Dayne Brown and Jamaal Smith. Haynes claims Dawson sexually and verbally harassed him which led to molestation and violence.
Haynes’ lawsuit says there were multiple instances that Dawson exposed his genitals to Haynes and that he had sexually assaulted Haynes using a pool cue, which caused bodily injury.
Haynes’ lawsuit claims that the three coaches took no action when they were told the details.
Haynes’ lawsuit says he started his freshman year in 2020 as a walk-on for the football team and almost immediately was harassed and bullied by Dawson. The lawsuit says the coaches told him that he was responsible for ending his own abuse while implying that he was perceived as homosexual.
The lawsuit says both Haynes and Dawson were eventually suspended from the football team. Haynes withdrew from Troy University shortly after that. Dawson transferred to Jacksonville State.
The complaint, filed July 25, alleges Title IX violations, sexual harassment, discrimination, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and harassment and “molestation and violence.”
Troy University Senior Director of Communications Matt Clower released this statement to Alabama News Network, saying, “Troy University denies all allegations contained in this lawsuit and will vigorously defend itself in court. Troy University is committed to providing students a safe environment with support and resources for all students impacted by harassment. Consistent with University policy, we will not have further comments on this pending litigation.”
Only Smith remains on Troy’s football staff. The alleged abuse occurred under the previous coaching staff.
The lawsuit is seeking a jury trial for compensatory and punitive damages.