The number of women suing the University of Tennessee in a Title IX lawsuit has grown, and there are more allegations of misconduct by the university and the football program.
There are now eight women listed as plaintiffs after two more joined the lawsuit, according to a report from Anita Wadhwani and Matt Slovin of the Tennessean.
UPDATE: The university released a statement through its attorney.
Statement from Tennessee and attorney Bill Ramsey: pic.twitter.com/xvL6BsyPee
— Patrick Brown (@patrickbrownTFP) February 25, 2016
The new allegations include details of how the university allegedly mishandled a case involving Tennessee wide receiver Von Pearson and a former vice chancellor reportedly warned Tennessee chancellor Jimmy Cheek about “the high number of sexual assaults involving male athletes and that other athletes were drinking, using drugs and having parties where the assaults occurred.”
Pearson allegedly sexually assaulted one of the new plaintiffs in April 2015. The updated lawsuit claims the school temporarily lifted his suspension so he could take final exams to be eligible for the following season, allowed him to enroll in fall classes even though the deadline for reinstatement had passed, and that Pearson’s lawyers violated a no-contact directive by contacting witnesses during the university investigation.
The updated lawsuit also includes a sworn declaration from former Tennessee Vice Chancellor Tim Rogers, which beyond the warnings mentioned above also said he warned Cheek that the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, which is part of the discipline process, was “being abused and misused by the UT administration especially for athletes charged with sexual assaults to delay or ward off discipline.”
The second new plaintiff was involved in an incident earlier this month with early enrollee freshman Alexis Johnson. He was arrested and suspended from football activities, but has vowed to fight the charges.
Another addition to the lawsuit includes a statement from Drae Bowles, a former Vols player, claiming that Tennessee coach Butch Jones called him a “traitor” for helping a victim after she was allegedly raped by two other football players.