·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Lawsuits & Litigation

Lawsuit: Penn State Football Players Told New Recruit They Were Going to “Sandusky” Him

— January 15, 2020

Other new recruits were allegedly sexually assaulted.

A former Penn State football player is suing the Nittany Lions, saying his teammates hazed him and threatened him with a “Sandusky”-style sexual assault.

NBC News reports that the lawsuit was field by Isiah Humphries on Monday. It names a defendants Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin, defensive tackle Damion Barber, linebacker Micah Parsons, defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos and linebacker Jesse Luketa.

Humphries alleges that his teammates collectively orchestrated and carried out a campaign to haze and harass underclassmen on the Nittany Lions roster. Together, says the suit, the players wanted to make recently-admitted players their “b*tch because this is a prison” [sic].

Among the more specific threats Humphries says he received was an allusion to former Lions defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who’s serving a decades-long prison sentence for sexually molesting numerous young boys.

“I am going to Sandusky you,” the players purportedly told Humphries.

Sandusky was sentenced to between 30 and 60 years for sexually abusing young boys. Image via Public Domain Pictures. Public domain.

Humphries says he was forced to endure the threats, which sometimes escalated into physical abuse. Older players would restrain underclassman, forcing them to the ground and pretending to “hump” them. In other cases, Humphries’ teammates would place their genitals upon the faces and buttocks of underclassmen, sometimes while masturbating.

ESPN notes that Penn State issued a statement Tuesday. After concluding an internal investigation, the university opted not to pursue disciplinary charges against any of the accused players.

“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,” Penn State said. “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.”

A Penn State representative later told ESPN that it, “based on extensive interviews,” the university uncovered no information substantiating any of Humphries’ claims.

Steven Marino, an attorney for Humphries, stressed that the investigation was triggered by an anonymous tip sent to Penn State about a year after his client transferred to another school on a football scholarship. Marino said that Humphries was not the source of the tip and decided to sue only after the investigation became public.

However, NBC observes that, when Humphries left Penn State, he sent out a tweet that hinted at his having endured abuse.

“After many months of prayer and thought, I will be leaving Penn State,” Humphries wrote. “I’m so thankful for the coaches and the staff for allowing me to come here all the way from Texas. I have made many friends here that I will dearly miss and it’s going to be hard to leave them.

“But in order to grow and not lose the passion that I have for football and for everything that I value,” Humphries said, “I unfortunate [sic] will be transferring from this place.”


Former Nittany Lions player files federal lawsuit against James Franklin, Penn State for hazing

Lawsuit says Penn State football players threatened to ‘Sandusky’ teammates in hazings

Join the conversation!