Coach Franklin, University dismissed from former PSU player’s hazing lawsuit

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(WTAJ) — A motion to dismiss Coach James Franklin and the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) from a hazing/retaliation lawsuit from a former PSU player has been granted, according to Chief US District Judge Matthew W. Brann.

The suit, which former PSU player Isaiah Humphries filed in January 2020, stated that he was retaliated against after reporting hazing by several teammates, hazing that was referred to as “initiation” to the team. Humphries was seeking unspecified financial damages and had sued the university and football coach James Franklin. The original lawsuit also named former teammate Damion Barber.

Due to the alleged retaliation, Humphries left Penn State and transferred to the University of California. This will force him to also miss a year of playing as per NCAA rules and guidelines.

On Sept. 24 Judge Brann granted to dismiss the following claims after Humphrie’s third amended complaint.

  • Count I against the University for Violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972;
  • Count II against the University for negligence per se related to the Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law;
  • Count IV against the University for negligence;
  • Count V against James Franklin for negligence; and Case 4:20-cv-00064-MWB Document 76 Filed 09/24/21 Page 1 of 2
  • Count VIII against the University and Franklin for negligent infliction
    of emotional distress.

Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna originally stated that a report was filed in April 2019 stating that “serious crimes of a sexual nature had occurred in the Lasch Building.” After investigating and talking to witnesses, no criminal charges were filed.

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